‘Our Members Will Not Be Scapegoated’

at

A Garda checkpoint

Further to the publication last week of An Garda Siochana’s internal inquiry into the number of breath tests that members carried out between 2009 and 2016.

And how they discovered there was more than 1.4million fake breath tests recorded between 2009 and 2016…

The Garda Representative Association has released the following statement:

The GRA questions why Garda Management required data on the number of negative breath tests at a time when Garda resources were scarce or diminishing.

This data was utilised as a crude measure of productivity – and fed into a culture of competition among senior ranks to improve their promotion chances.

No one can categorically say that it was our members falsifying data – we have numerous examples of supervisors and managers having input into this system.

There was also little or no training and the recording process was obviously flawed. We have to ask who wanted this data recorded in the first place – and what does it purport to show?

Goodhart’s Law states that when a measure becomes a target – it ceases to become a good measure.

During the height of the recession when garda numbers had been significantly reduced, we were told by Garda Management figures – and propagated by Government – that crime figures were falling.

We blew the whistle and said that crime figures were being ‘massaged’ downwards – and we were vindicated by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and latterly the Central Statistics Office.

It is clear in the Report that Garda Management do not wish to be blamed for this debacle – but it is entirely of their own making.

Their obsession with data collection, for no clear and distinct purpose, while our members were issued with endless directives at a time of under-resourcing, no training, increased workloads and an unclear system of collation was a policy of failure.

Our members will not be scapegoated for ill-considered policies – and this should be the focus of political attention.

If the people of Ireland have been let down; then it is in the management and deployment of scant resources to appease the need for purposeless data by those in power.

Via Garda Representative Association

Previously: Another Half A Million

Rollingnews

Update:

Watch to the end.

27 thoughts on “‘Our Members Will Not Be Scapegoated’

  1. Zaccone

    Mindboggling. They could at least have used the tried and tested “a few bad apples” defense. But to attack the use of data itself…

    The entire top rank of the Gardai needs to be fired and replaced with external candidates, who can then root out the endemic system of corruption, laziness and cronyism that currently permeates the force.

  2. Salmon of Nollaig

    Interesting. So when someone lies in response to a question, it’s the fault of the questioner? Could this be applied by analogy to prosecution cross-examinations?!!

  3. Andy

    “‘Our Members Will Not Be Scapegoated’”

    Also reads as

    “‘Our Members Will Not Be Punished for Lying & Cheating & Falsifying Police Records”

    Bunch of scumbags

  4. Nodin

    “No one can categorically say that it was our members falsifying data”…Well, nobody can say it was only your members falsifying data….

  5. Alatriste

    that spokesman isn’t a garda. he’s that criminologist fellow who appears on TV3 crime shows and used to be involved in advic.

  6. Yep

    I think I read this wrong to everyone else. They seem to be calling out management as being ineffectual.

    “This data was utilised as a crude measure of productivity – and fed into a culture of competition among senior ranks to improve their promotion chances.”

    C’mon BS but this should be in bold. It shows that members are being corralled towards a goal that is not to their or to the benefit of the people they are supposed to serve. We all know what happens to whistleblowers so one must tread lightly.

    “Their obsession with data collection, for no clear and distinct purpose, while our members were issued with endless directives at a time of under-resourcing, no training, increased workloads and an unclear system of collation was a policy of failure.”

    Again, this highlights the failures from the top down, yet it is squeezed in between the ooohhh it’s in bold how dare they.

    Guards are people too. We need to remember that if we have any hope of a restructure of a clearly corrupt organisation.

  7. Mike Baldwin

    ‘…to improve their promotion chances’? Intellectual horsepower aside, I’m not sure ambition and drive are traits I automatically associate with people who willingly sign up to be shunted across the country, walk around in the rain for hours and all for €23k….

  8. Clampers Outside!

    Gardanese Whispers…

    Garda Pat says: I got 3 negatives on the lower road outta town, and 4 on the high rd, so that’s 11 total.

    He tells the Sargent. And the Sargent reports 15.

    The Super reads the report and finds there are 36 negatives.

    And so forth, till quittin’ time.

    Is that it Ted?

  9. bob

    Th pressure was put on the rank and file to produce the high levels of breath tests. Do they were basically told to go out and spend all day doing breath tests.
    Seems like they were given unrealistic targets to begin with. But they had two options. Go out and be realistic and do as many tests in the allowed time, report back that the targets are not feasible, or do the high visability, on the road ofr a few hours, do a few tests and back to the station.
    I reckon both are to blame here. The GRA should have raised this at the time of these targets.

  10. Barry the Hatchet

    I’ll just leave this here.

    “One incident is highlighted which details an exchange between an operator at the garda contacts centre in Castlebar and a guard who mis making a report following a MAT (Mandatory Alcohol Test) checkpoint.

    The report states: “When asked how many checks he conducted he hesitates and first says 30. He then changes that to 50, before finally telling the operator to ‘put him down for 90’”.”

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/breath-test-controversy-commissioner-says-failures-are-completely-unacceptable-as-further-500000-tests-not-carried-out-36105141.html

  11. Frilly Keane

    there are many issues I have with this Statement

    two in particular

    but first things first The GRA = The vast majority of AGS; who stump up from their payroll to keep it fed
    so AGS members own the GRA

    no one connected to anything to do with AGS, at any level, can be allowed blame “scant resources”
    for anything
    An organisation that can afford to pay a 2 grand a week pension to a 56 year old for life does not qualify for that one.

    Data Collection & Utilisation. FFS
    Do you seriously think AGS employees should be allowed head out on a shift with a car under their arse and not be asked what they did for 6 hours?

    ara’ I could go on about that again, I’ve a pain in me bottom with them
    ’tis all here already anyway
    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2017/04/07/to-protect-and-serve-3/

    since most of ye forgot

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