Good to see formal public notice for new Garda Commissioner. Process now well under way for challenging & exciting post. Government wants best possible candidate from a broad (internal or external) pool of potentials.
Listening with deep concern to the testimony from Lois West & Laura Galligan today about the issues she has uncovered and the barriers she has faced when reviewing Homicides, including domestic homicides. pic.twitter.com/YULKb8OE6j
Misclassification and inaccurate recording of crimes by the gardaí left some women at risk of domestic violence, two civilian officers in the gardaí’s statistics unit have told the Oireachtas Justice Committee.
In her opening statement, Deputy Head of the Garda Síochána Analysis Service Lois West said “we had very genuine concerns that a person may be living in a vulnerable situation. For example, we made the decision to escalate cases where we felt that a new partner may be at risk.”
The two civilian officers said they were subjected to “severe pressure” to withdraw their concerns, “to ignore our professional standards”. Their “integrity, both personal and professional was undermined and attacked”.
Senior Crime and Policing Analyst Laura Galligan told the committee how she and her colleague were “belittled and treated very poorly” when they tried to raise serious concerns about misreporting of homicides with senior officers.
From left: barrister Michael McDowell, Sgt Mauric McCabe, Lorraine McCabe and solicitor Sean Costello arrive at Dublin Castle this morning.
The Disclosures Tribunal is resuming in Dublin Castle this afternoon.
Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe has continued to answer questions about the alleged smear against him by senior ranks of An Garda Síochána.
Olga Cronin (you may know her from the telly!) is live tweeting from Dublin Castle on on the Broadsheet feed here.
RTÉ Crime Correspondent Paul Reynold attends the Disclosures Tribunal where he heard Sgt McCabe outline claims of bias against Mr Reynolds during his reporting for the station on the outcome of the O’Higgins Commission.
The Policing Authority has told senior Garda management that checks made to establish if all homicides were investigated properly were not robust enough and must now be carried out independently.
Last year, it emerged that 41 out of 524 killings deaths needed to be further examined, amid concerns some should been registered as murder c ases. Twelve were subsequently reclassified as homicides.
Now, however, the Policing Authority, which is chaired by the former head of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, has raised questions about the results of the two-stage Garda inquiry.
In the first phase, Garda data analysts checked classifications, but they did not have sight of the full case files so they had no way to check if the investigations were sufficient for suspected murder, not manslaughter, or a lesser charge.
…During a private meeting last November, senior Garda management was told by the authority that form of review was not good enough because it lacked independence.
According to minutes from the meeting, the Policing Authority questioned whether such an approach was “sufficiently robust, relying as it did on a review by the person who conducted the initial investigation”.
The authority members told the Garda that a new review, independent of those officers involved in the original investigations, was needed. The Policing Authority has confirmed it awaits an update on that instruction.
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 1.4millionfake 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.
And so the usual avalanche of meaningless, naïve and uninformed analysis is upon us in response to the latest scandal – the sacking of yet another Garda Commissioner.
Yes, she was sacked, there are many ways to sack a person without actually seeming to do so.
So for those who wish to bypass all the utter bullshit that will be spewed out over the coming weeks in response to this latest episode of police/political corruption – here’s the stripped down truth.
Our police force is an irredeemably corrupt organisation. It will never be reformed from the inside because to do so would mean having to retire, fire and prosecute hundreds if not thousands of police officers.
Real reform would also mean establishing a truly independent police force that would see the severing of the corrupt nexus between the force and the corrupt political system principally made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.
A politically independent police force would mean corrupt politicians would find themselves under regular investigation for their criminal activities.
A politically independent police force would see, for the first time in our history, bankers, property developers, members of the legal profession, civil servants, so-called regulators, judges and even police officers regularly facing justice before the courts.
A politically independent police force will never become a reality until the corrupt political system is first removed from power.
All other talk/analysis surrounding this issue should be treated for what it is – utter bullshit.
The inquiry into the fake breath tests discovered there was more than 1.4million fake breath tests recorded between 2009 and 2016.
Meanwhile, the Policing Authority has hired financial auditors Crowe Horwath to conduct its own independent investigation into the matters and that’s expected to be completed by September 25.
It’s been reported that Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan is due to appear before the Policing Authority three days later on September 28.
Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports:
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan released a statement yesterday about the Garda’s reports into inflated breath tests and the fixed-charge notice system. He said he was disturbed by the findings and expected the reports to be published later in the day.
But Garda Headquarters never had any intention of publishing the reports any time soon. It wanted to wait until consultants hired by the Policing Authority to examine the same issues had completed their work.
But the Garda has now been forced to go public with the reports because Mr Flanagan, in public, told Ms O’Sullivan she had to publish yesterday.
And if the Policing Authority’s consultants find anything nasty that the Garda reports overlook, it could be the end of the road for Ms O’Sullivan.
Darragh McDonagh, in The Times of Ireland, reports:
An Garda Síochána is set to spend up to €255,000 on a survey to find out what the public think of the organisation.
The policing authority is seeking a company to provide public survey services over 12 months. The contract is worth up to €255,000 excluding VAT, according to official tender documents.
The documents state that the survey plays an important role in the organisation: “The objective for An Garda Síochána is a top quality survey of public attitudes relating to awareness and effectiveness of garda publicity campaigns, and perceptions of crime at local and national level.”
The public will be asked their “views of the garda organisation and how it can be improved”…