The Policing Authority has today published its Review of 2020 which provides an overview of the breadth and depth of the work it has undertaken this year. It highlights key areas of focus for the Authority’s oversight, as well as providing data relating to senior Garda appointments, fieldwork and engagement, and other functions of the Authority.
Speaking of the Review of 2020, Policing Authority Chief Executive, Helen Hall, said:
“2020 brought challenges that no one could have foreseen. The Authority recognised early in the pandemic that Policing and its oversight held huge importance during this time and it responded with agility to the COVID-19 crisis. It has been a very full and demanding year with more Authority meetings, than ever before, 63 senior Garda appointments, and a comprehensive programme of fieldwork and engagement to inform policing performance oversight across a range of topics. In 2021, we will continue to fulfil our statutory functions, while playing a role in the evolution of a future Authority, as set out in the Government programme for policing reform.”
Since April 2020, the Policing Authority has been reporting to the Minister for Justice on policing performance by the Garda Síochána during the COVID-19 crisis, and has today published its tenth in a series of reports on the topic. This report is the final one for 2020, and it reflects the cumulative data provided by the Garda Síochána and a summary of the range of issues encountered throughout the period. At year-end, and facing into ongoing restrictions in 2021 until such time as an effective vaccine is rolled out, it is an opportune time to look back and assess the issues which have arisen throughout the period and highlight the learnings that can be carried forward.
Policing Authority Chairperson, Bob Collins, commented:
“We learned again what the Garda Síochána has often said, and what we have always known, that its role goes far beyond law enforcement. In its best moments, the Garda Síochána can create a sense of security, of confidence and of certainty that a good policing service can help to keep people safe in all their vulnerabilities. We have seen what a transformation can be wrought by the adoption of a new tone and a new style of engagement. There is a challenge for the Garda Síochána to ensure that the new style is embedded as the permanent way of policing life. This is not a challenge of resources because tone and style are not functions of resources but are an expression of respect and empathy. Numbers can increase visibility but approach and tone can deliver presence and, with that, meaningful engagement and enduring relationships.”