Meeting in Public


Press Release

Policing Authority publishes Assessment of Policing Performance 2023

The Policing Authority has today published its Assessment of Policing Performance 2023. This is an evaluation of the Garda Síochána’s performance over the course of last year. This biannual, public assessment, guided by the Policing Priorities, and annual Policing Plan, aims to provide transparency and insight into the Authority’s oversight of the Garda Síochána.


Speaking on the launch of the report, Dr Elaine Byrne, BL, Chairperson of the Policing Authority, stated:


“This assessment highlights why collaboration between the Garda Síochána, wider public services, and communities is vital. It shows how working together enhances policing outcomes and community well-being. This partnership approach is the way forward to not only tackle policing challenges but to promote safer and more inclusive communities.”


She continued: “The Policing Authority believes that community engagement is key in shaping effective policing strategies. Our assessment emphasises the vital importance of different agencies working together. This is especially significant in the context of the implementation of a model of community safety to Ireland later this year. The Policing Authority believes that the increased allocation of dedicated community policing resources is crucial in order to improve engagement and to greater foster trust between the Garda Síochána and the communities it serves, in all their diversity.”


The report identifies major achievements by the Garda Síochána in 2023, amidst evolving challenges and the impending commencement of the Policing, Security, and Community Safety Act 2024. It also provides commentary on areas for improvement or risk, including:


  • Garda Information and Technology. There continues to be considerable achievements made by the Garda Síochána in improving the technology and information available to members and staff to improve and make more efficient the policing service offered to the public. The new GardaSAFE dispatch system, the continued rollout of the Investigation Management System and the lifting of the reservations on crime statistics by the CSO are significant achievements in 2023.
  • Protection of the Vulnerable: Despite resource limitations, the Garda Síochána has made significant strides in responding to, and supporting victims of, domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence. While the increases in the number of recorded offences may cause concern, the increased reporting of such offences suggests growing public confidence in policing and criminal justice responses. It is vital that these improvements continue to ensure the highest level of victim support possible and the achieving of outcomes for those victims.
  • Disrupting Organised Crime: The Garda Síochána's efforts in tackling organised crime, as evidenced by the €211m worth of drugs seized in 2023 and continued success in disrupting criminal networks, demonstrate notable success across the year. However, challenges persist in addressing drug-related intimidation and economic crime.
  • Community Policing and Engagement: While there is a strong trust and confidence in the Garda Síochána within local communities, negative perceptions persist, particularly among young people and minority communities. Enhancing community policing and addressing visibility challenges are crucial for fostering positive community experiences.
  • Garda Resources. Resourcing continues to be the most significant challenge to the organisation across all functional areas. The legacy impact of COVID-19 on recruitment, the competitive employment market, and high attrition rates of Garda Staff, combined with natural attrition, continue to impact the ability of the organisation to assign the desired resources. A Strategic Workforce Plan that decides how these challenges will be met and where resources will be prioritised, is urgently required.
  • Combatting Unethical Behaviour. The Garda Síochána continues to face considerable challenge in ensuring that there is an efficient response where members and staff suspected or accused of inappropriate or criminal behaviour. It is vital that the charges are investigated thoroughly and promptly that any accused individual is allowed sufficient procedural fairness.


Helen Hall, Chief Executive of the Policing Authority added:


“There have been significant achievements by the Garda Síochána in 2023, but it is crucial to acknowledge that Garda resources continue to be the major issue affecting all functions of the Garda Síochána. This is limiting the ability of the Garda Síochána to deliver and improve services as planned. Setting out a clear plan for the workforce needed will enable the Garda Síochána to better address these challenges and assist with the prioritisation of resources.”