Tag Archives: Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

From top: The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland; Garda Inspectorate Kathleen O’Toole speaking at the publication of the commission’s report today; and the report

It’s so bright.

You may need a fire retardant mask.

This afternoon.

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland has published its 128-page report – 16 months after the commission was established.

In a summary of its key recommendations, it states…

An Garda Síochána should have a human rights strategy, and a human rights unit within the organisation to develop, implement and monitor the strategy. It should work with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to fulfil its human rights and equality responsibilities. Legislation defining police powers of arrest, search and detention should be codified, with statutory codes of practice.

…While crime is a top priority for police, in practice the majority of police time, in Ireland and elsewhere, is spent on harm prevention – providing service to people with mental health and addiction conditions, homeless people, children, elderly and others at risk. This broader concept of community safety needs to be embedded in legislation in a new Policing and Community Safety Act.

The Act should cover not only the police, but also the other agencies of government responsible for people at risk – including local authorities, health, child and other social services – who should be required by law to work with the police to protect people from harm.

…However, the national security function should not be lodged entirely within the police organisation and it is now necessary to augment An Garda Síochána’s responsibility for security operations. There should be a more structured multi-agency approach to security, and a Strategic Threat Analysis Centre, based in the Department of the Taoiseach and headed by a National Security Coordinator.

…An enhanced, regular programme of engagement between An Garda Síochána and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality should be introduced to improve the effectiveness of this channel.

…The operational independence of the Garda Commissioner should be explicit in legislation. Oversight should be streamlined, more coherent and strengthened in a new Policing and Community Safety Oversight Commission (PCSOC), superseding the Garda Síochána Inspectorate and the Policing Authority, and taking on most of their functions as well as some new ones.

…The system for managing complaints should be overhauled. An independent body, superseding GSOC, should be established, perhaps named the Independent Office of the Police Ombudsman (IOPO) to make clear that it is not part of An Garda Síochána. IOPO should receive all complaints about the police service, from whatever source.

...The Commissioner should be supported in running the police organisation by a statutory Board. Rarely if ever does a career police officer reach the position of chief of police with the full range of knowledge and expertise to run a complex institution of 15,000 people and a €1.65 billion budget.

…Poor quality crime data hampers both investigation and prevention. New systems, new processes, and better training in how to use them, are essential. So too is an agile data analytics capability, able to assist police operations in real time.

…. More police working in and with the community will help prevent and detect crime, reduce fear of crime, and protect people at risk. Many police are now doing jobs that do not require police powers, and should be done by nonsworn employees or outsourced. Police also have unnecessary administration duties, such as keeping paper records, duplicating electronic ones. These should be stopped.

The structure of An Garda Síochána should reflect the focus on the front line by becoming flatter and less siloed. Headquarters should set policies, broad strategy, standards and objectives.

…There was no recruitment and virtually no training for nearly six years following the financial crash. Now the pace of recruitment is very fast, putting strain on both the training college and the capacity of the organisation to absorb and supervise new recruits.

The great majority of recruits already have academic degrees and do not need some of the academic elements of the current recruit foundation course. Recruits who have degree qualifications prior to entry should therefore do a shorter course focused on policing, before moving on to their probationary Garda service in police stations, where, as we have said, supervision at sergeant level should be strengthened.

….A more determined effort should be made to recruit a more diverse workforce, both non-sworn and sworn, diverse not only in gender and ethnicity, but also in socioeconomic, educational and geographical background. A Garda Access Programme should be developed…

…An Garda Síochána needs to take better care of its employees. Policing presents both physical and mental challenges to wellbeing. The police urgently need a proactive programme to address wellness, with dedicated funding, as well as improved supports including timely debriefing and mandatory counselling after traumatic events.

…An Garda Síochána badly needs to introduce better business processes and systems for collecting, recording, managing, analysing and disseminating information about crimes, incidents, complaints, finance, human resources and other management issues…

Technology can provide the tools for this, as part of a comprehensive strategy for digital innovation. Current Garda technology is outdated and inadequate, to the detriment of both effective delivery of police services and efficient allocation of resources. Data should be seen as a strategic asset and a key factor in determining policing decisions…

…. The culture should be one of a team of professionals working together, not a hierarchy in which foot soldiers wait for instructions from above.

…An Garda Síochána should work with the technology sector in Ireland and with academic expertise to support police in tackling cybercrime and other technologyenabled challenges.

A Digital Policing Innovation Centre, supported by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, would enable An Garda Síochána and Ireland as a whole to contribute to technological innovation in policing.

…The large reform programme we have proposed cannot be completed overnight, but it must be progressed as fast as possible and we believe that 2022 is a realistic target date for policing to be substantially transformed. It is also symbolically important as the year in which the 100th anniversary of the founding of a police service for the Irish State will be celebrated.

The report can be read in full here

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald

Earlier today.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced the 12 members of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and the final terms of reference for the commission.

It will report back to her in September 2018 but, in her announcement, Ms Fitzgerald said:

“Crucially the Commission may bring forward immediate proposals and rolling recommendations for implementation, that it considers are required to be addressed in the short-term, in advance of its final report.”

In addition, Ms Fitzgerald said:

I am determined to continue shining a light to uncover bad practices and issues that must be resolved…It is clear from recent events that systemic issues which have emerged require the establishment of this expert group on policing to report in a timely way on the further changes now necessary to meet the requirements of a modern police force.”

The 12 members are Kathleen O’Toole, Noeleen Blackwell, Conor Brady, Dr Johnny Connolly, Dr Vicki Conway, Tim Dalton, Sir Peter Fahy, Dr Eddie Molloy, Tonita Murray, Dr Antonio Oftelie, Professor Donncha O’Connell and Helen Ryan.

From the Department of Justice…

Ms Kathleen O’Toole is currently Chief of the Seattle Police Department. She held the position of Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate between 2006 and 2012 prior to which she was the Commissioner of the Boston Police.

Ms Noeleen Blackwell is a human rights lawyer who is Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. She was formerly the Director General of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC).

Mr Conor Brady is a former editor of the Irish Times and the Sunday Tribune and was a member of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission from 2005 to 2011. He has written extensively on the history of An Garda Síochána and has served as a visiting professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Dr Johnny Connolly is Irish Research Council Enterprise Scholar at the Centre for Crime, Justice and Victim Studies at the School of Law in the University of Limerick. His research project, co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, is titled ‘Developing a comprehensive human rights based response to drug and gang-related crime and community violence’.

He has previously worked as a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin and as a Research Officer at the Alcohol and Drugs Research Unit of the Health Research Board. He has published widely on justice issues and is board member of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.

Dr Vicky Conway is a lecturer in law in the School of Law and Governance in DCU where she teaches criminal law and criminology. She has previously held positions at the University of Kent, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Limerick and the University of Leeds. Vicky is a graduate of UCC (BCL, LLM), the University of Edinburgh (MSSc Criminology) and Queen’s University Belfast (PhD, PGCert Higher Education).

Dr Conway is a leading researcher on policing in Ireland with an emphasis on the intersection between social change, police culture and police accountability. She has published two monographs on policing in Ireland (The Thick Blue Wall: The Morris Tribunal and Police Accountability in the Republic of Ireland and Policing Twentieth Century Ireland: A History of an Garda Síochána), edited a book on criminal procedure and written numerous articles on policing.

Her research has been funded by the British Academy and the European Commission. She was appointed a member of the Policing Authority in December 2015. She has held visiting scholar positions in North America, Australia and Ireland. Vicky is a member of the board of the Association of Criminal Justice Research and Development and has previously been a board member of the award winning Committee on the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland.

Tim Dalton is a retired Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Sir Peter Fahy has served in 5 UK forces spending 5 years as Chief Constable of Cheshire and 8 as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police with 13,000 staff under his command. In his time as a police chief he championed Neighbourhood Policing and drove through significant change programmes.

For 8 years he was director of the Strategic Command Course at the police staff college Bramshill. He held national positions in charge of race and diversity and workforce development and was national police lead for the Prevent counter terrorism programme. He is a life member of the US Police Executives Research Forum having previously served on their board. ‎

When he left policing in November 2015 he took up a post as chief executive of the street children charity Retrak and among other responsibilities works with African police forces on how they deal with vulnerable children. He is also Chair of the Plus Dane Housing Association and a trustee of the Catholic Diocese of Salford along with a number of other trustee positions. He is an honorary professor at the University of Manchester.

Dr Eddie Molloy is Independent Management Consultant, Director Advanced Organisation. He specialises in strategy, large-scale organisation change and innovation.

Ms Tonita Murray is an international police development consultant with over 40 years as a civilian in government ministries directing the police and in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). She has specialised in police reform, policy development, training, leadership and management.

During her career in the RCMP she was one of the leaders of organisational change and a Director General of the Canadian Police College. From 2003 to the present, she has been engaged in police reform in Afghanistan and Kenya, including gender mainstreaming and gender sensitive policing. She has published on police management and reform, accountability and governance, women in policing and on the Afghanistan police reform effort.

Dr Antonio M. Oftelie is Executive Director, Leadership for a Networked World and Fellow, Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Dr Oftelie conducts research, teaches, and advises on how law, policy and technology can be aligned to create exceptional environments for organizational innovation and adaptation.

Based in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Antonio administers the Harvard Innovation Award program, is faculty lead for the Public Safety, Health and Human Services, Chief Financial Officer, Next Generation Operations, and Public Sector for the Future summits, and since 2004, has developed and taught in more than forty Harvard executive education programs.

As an application of his research, Antonio advises senior government and business executives on organizational transformation by helping them to adapt their mission and strategy, ideate new business and service models, build dynamic capacity, and create performance and value measures.

Professor Donncha O’Connell is an Established Professor of Law at the School of Law, NUI Galway where he has just completed a four year term as Head of School. He is also a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission and was, for four years, a board member of the Legal Aid Board.

Professor O’Connell was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics in the academic year 2009-2010. From 1999-2002 he was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). He has also served on the boards of the following human rights NGOs: INTERIGHTS; Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd; and Amnesty International – Ireland.

He was a member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights that advised the EU Commission on a wide range of human rights issues from 2002-2007 and, latterly, the Senior Irish member of FRALEX, a legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna from 2007-2010.

Ms Helen Ryan was the Chief Executive Officer of Creganna-Tactx Medical from 2005 – 2013, a global supplier to the medical device industry specialising in products, technologies and solutions for minimally invasive therapies. The company is currently ranked among the world’s top 10 medical device outsource providers.

During Ms Ryan’s time as CEO, the company grew five-fold to become the largest indigenous medical device company. The expansion included three company acquisitions, a strategic joint venture in Asia, and the raising of significant debt and equity financing. The organisation grew from 100 people at a single site in Galway to over 1,250 people across a global network of four sites in Ireland, the USA and Singapore.

Prior to joining Creganna-Tactx in 2003, Ms Ryan worked with Medtronic and Tyco Healthcare (Covidien) in Product Development and R&D functional management roles. She is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland and a member of the Boards of Enterprise Ireland and of the Galway University Foundation. She is a past Chair of the Irish Medical Devices Association, and serves as a non-executive director of a number of companies.

Tánaiste announces membership and final terms of reference of Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (Department of Justice)