The Policing Authority has today published the fourth in a series of reports to the Minister for Justice and Equality on its assessment of policing performance by the Garda Síochána during the COVID-19 crisis. The report is available here.
The Authority’s outreach work, which informs this report, continues to find that community and civil society organisations remain very positive in their assessment of the policing response during the current crisis. Two key areas that have been highlighted include the importance of the Garda Síochána’s ability to plan and integrate its efforts with other organisations, and the opportunity for the future to capture and preserve the positive engagement with communities that has emerged during this period.
Engagement has taken place between the Policing Authority and the Garda Síochána on the approach to policing incidents relating to pickets and protests. The Authority has been assured that significant planning is ongoing in cooperation with local authorities and organisers for future planned protests, and it continues to emphasise the importance of being both fair and consistent. The matter will be kept under review.
Policing Authority Chairperson, Bob Collins commented:
“ The legislative framework within which the emergency powers are situated and the on-the-ground community and policing approach adopted by the Garda Síochána have combined to present a quite different experience from that which has obtained in many other European countries. Different and better. That is important in the context of helping communities and individuals to get through difficult times. And it is also important as a basis for strengthening the relationship between policing and people.”
The Authority will continue to keep under review the use of the emergency powers, the use of force represented by the temporary deployment of anti-spit guards and the impact on individuals, particularly those who are vulnerable.