The Policing Authority has today published its Assessment of Policing Performance, an evaluation of the Garda Síochána’s performance over the first half of 2022. Policing performance is assessed primarily against the Authority’s Statutory Performance Framework—consisting of the Garda Síochána Statement of Strategy, Policing Priorities, and annual Policing Plan. This biannual assessment is key to providing transparency about policing performance, the oversight of policing, and the outcomes of that work.
Policing performance highlights in the year to date include:
- The continued response to organised crime: There is sustained success in tackling Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) engaged in the drugs trade with continued, positive medium-term trends in relation to the seizures of drugs, currency and firearms. There were no “threat-to-life” incidents in the first half of 2022, which is recognised as an extraordinary marker of success arising from Garda activity over recent years that has real community impact.
- Disruption to the activities of an Organised Crime Group: The collaboration with international partners to respond to the activities of an Organised Crime Group, as well as disrupting the activities of other OCGs in collaboration with UK, EU and other partners, represents landmark success for the Garda Síochána.
- Ongoing improvements in the provision of protective services: There continues to be a focus on the improvement of service to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. The Garda Síochána has maintained a high rate of victim contact following reports of domestic abuse and this is an encouraging statement of the ongoing commitment to this area of policing. The ongoing review of Divisional Protective Services Units and the continued rollout of the Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment Tool demonstrate the continued high priority that the organisation places on responding to domestic abuse. The increased rate of reporting of sexual offences and the internal Garda review of outcomes of sexual offences are important markers of progress.Progress related to rights based and ethical service delivery: The publication of the new Human Rights Strategy 2022-24 is welcomed by the Authority, as is the formation of the Professional Conduct Steering Group. The Anti-Corruption Strategy 2022-2024 has also been approved and is due for publication along with an implementation plan that will give effect to recommendations set out in the Garda Inspectorate Report, Countering the Threat of Internal Corruption.
Challenges persist in respect of key enabling functions, including human resources, workforce planning, training, information and technology, estate management and finance. These challenges continue to impede intended progress against a wide array of policing plan targets including those relating to community policing, diversity and inclusion, economic crime and cybercrime, health and wellbeing, and the ongoing policing reform programme. The Authority’s assessment also identifies the lack of a sufficient culture of learning, critical appraisal and reflection on performance within the Garda Síochána.
Policing Authority Chairperson, Bob Collins, commented on the publication of the report:
“In this assessment, the Authority records its appreciation of the very significant policing successes in the first six months of 2022 and the very challenging circumstances that frequently confront Garda personnel in their work. Once again, however, it feels it necessary to draw attention to the continuing urgency of making and sustaining progress in the development of the organisational capacity of the Garda Síochána in areas that are vital to the quality of the policing service given to the public. These areas include human resources, workforce planning, training and development, and information and technology. These issues have been consistent subjects of attention since the establishment of the Authority. They will continue to be highlighted—to the Commissioner and his colleagues, and also to the Minister and the Department of Justice,—as they are foundational in any attempt to improve the quality of the service given to the people.”
This Assessment of Policing Performance is the latest in a series of bi-annual reports assessing Garda Síochána performance. These reports are provided to the Minister for Justice, the Garda Commissioner, and other stakeholders, and made publicly available through the Authority’s website.