The Policing Authority welcomes today’s launch by the Garda Commissioner of a new Garda Síochána Operating Model. Today’s announcement, rolling out a new structure for local policing represents the most significant structural change in the Garda Síochána since its inception. It is consistent with the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate, the Government’s 2016 decision to replace the Garda District Model of Policing with a functional or divisional model, and the more recent recommendations from the Commission on the Future of Policing as approved by Government in December 2018. The Authority welcomes the new model because it represents a clear expression of a vision and direction for the organisation, grounded in the context of its mission, for which the Authority has consistently called.
The Authority received an overview of the new Operating Model from the Garda Síochána during July and acknowledges the significant work undertaken in developing this new approach from the perspectives of capability, processes, structure and governance. The reduction in the number of regions and divisions aims to deliver a more visible and responsive policing service. The revised structures outlined today have the potential to release Garda members back to front-line duties and to reduce duplication, bureaucracy and back-office support costs. When implemented, the model should result in an increase in Garda resources and greater autonomy at divisional level, which will make it possible to better respond to the specific needs of the local community. The Operating Model outlined is designed to strengthen governance, supervision and accountability structures across the organisation.
The Authority supports the introduction of the new Operating Model. It will continue to engage with the Garda Síochána on its implementation and will monitor the effectiveness and consistency of the delivery of this significant initiative.