Report on Commission Activities April - August 2018
- The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland was established by Government in May 2017.
- Our terms of reference were to bring forward proposals to Government for the future of policing in Ireland, based on a fundamental review of the role, structures, leadership and management, ethos and culture of policing in Ireland and the existing oversight and consultative arrangements.
- In carrying out this work, we were asked to pay attention to:
- existing and emerging issues identified as key challenges for Ireland’s model of policing;
- international benchmarks;
- best practices and changes in the policing models of other countries focused towards greater effectiveness and efficiency, and fostering public confidence in policing;
- previous reports concerning policing in Ireland;
- any specific challenges to delivering consistent structural and cultural reform in policing.
- We were also asked to consult widely, including with the public and civic society and any other bodies or individuals we consider appropriate. In December 2017 and March 2018 we published updates on the Commission’s early work phases. This report covers the Commission’s activities from April-August 2018.
- From April onwards, the Commission’s work focused on analysis and formulation of recommendations informed by the consultation process and the Commission’s research and deliberations up to that date. This was complemented by ongoing bilateral engagement with stakeholders and subject matter experts and attendance at conferences and events (see below).
Bilateral Meetings and Consultation
- Bilateral meetings undertaken in this period included the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity, national and international subject matter experts in terrorism, the DCU University Access Programme, the Irish Farmers’ Association, Drug and Alcohol Co-Ordinators under the National Drugs Strategy, An Garda Síochána Crime and Security and National Units, the Garda Youth Diversion Service, the Employee Assistance Service of An Garda Síochána, the Solas project, the Irish Youth Justice Service, garda representative associations and political parties. In addition, Commission representatives met with PwC to discuss the cultural audit of An Garda Síochána and the Centre for Effective Services to discuss implementation. A study visit to the Europol European Cybercrime Centre also took place. There was ongoing engagement with relevant Ministers and Government Departments and a series of supplementary meetings with the policing bodies in May and June.
- In order to explore further the experiences of female Garda personnel regarding their careers, training and development, and future prospects, we held small semi-structured focus group discussions in early August with women working in An Garda Síochána. Discussions focused on proposals for improvements to working experiences.
Activities and Events
- A number of Commission members attended the Public Safety Summit at Harvard University in April 2018 and Commission Chair, Kathleen O’ Toole participated in a number of panels. The report of the Summit is available here. Kathleen O’ Toole also spoke on the Commission’s work at the Accelerate Conference 2018 in Arizona in June 2018. In addition Commission members attended the annual meeting for Chief Executives of Local Authorities and Chairpersons of JPCs, organised by the Policing Authority.
Report finalisation and Next Steps
- The development of the Commission’s approach and formulation of final recommendations was ongoing to end August 2018, informed by the consultation process, and the Commission’s research and deliberations. The Commission’s report, to be published in September 2018 will be the core output of those efforts.