Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Commission on the Future of Policing Reports
356. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the implementation of the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4301/20]
In December 2018, Government published A Policing Service for our Future (APSFF) – the 4-year Plan (2019-2022) to implement the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland – The Future of Policing in Ireland.
The plan is a living document and I understand that throughout the implementation process, it is reviewed and updated, to maintain ambitious but realistic commitments and timeframes. Inevitably, Covid-19 has impacted on some areas. However, I understand that the implementation group is continuing to work with key stakeholders to identify and agree priority actions for implementation and is actively engaged in ensuring continued momentum on the key reforms, in so far as possible under the current circumstances.
I am pleased to inform the Deputy that much has already been achieved under the Plan. For example:
- The roll-out of a new Operating Model for An Garda Síochána has commenced. This model is designed to streamline Garda administration and to provide a more visible, responsive and localised policing service to communities nationwide;
- An Garda Síochána has established and strengthened resourcing of a Human Rights Unit and re-established the Strategic Human Rights Advisory Committee;
- The National Security Analysis Centre has been established and the Director appointed;
- In 2019, approximately 600 new Garda recruits attested and were assigned to frontline policing duties nationwide. In addition, An Garda Síochána recruited almost 750 Garda Staff. This has allowed approximately 600 Gardaí to be reassigned from administrative to frontline operational policing duties where their training and expertise can be used to best effect; and
- The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2019 has been enacted which gives Gardaí access to the Workplace Relations Commission for the first time and provides for a modern industrial relations framework within An Garda Síochána.
There is also ongoing progress on legislative reform, in particular:
- Government has given approval for legislation to be drafted by my Department to underpin the use of recording devices (including body worn cameras) and for the codification of legislation defining police powers of arrest, search and detention;
- Work is well advanced in my Department on the development of the General Scheme of the Policing and Community Safety Bill to provide a new coherent framework for the governance and oversight of An Garda Síochána.
Implementation of the Plan is overseen by a dedicated Policing Reform Implementation Programme Office (PRIPO) in the Department of the Taoiseach. The Implementation Group on Policing Reform (IGPR), with Helen Ryan, former member of the Commission, as its independent Chair, has collective responsibility for the delivery of the Plan. Its core membership comprises senior officials from the organisations most closely involved in driving the reform programme – An Garda Síochána; the Department of Justice and Equality; the Department of the Taoiseach; and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Senior representatives of other relevant Departments and Agencies are also involved in this Group’s work.
A High Level Steering Board, chaired by the Secretary General to the Government, is in place to help guide the work of the IGPR and to act as a clearing house for issues that cannot be resolved by the IGPR, or where particular blockages are being experienced in the implementation of the Plan. Cabinet Committee F provides political oversight of the implementation of the Plan.
The measures mentioned above represent only some of the wide range of actions being progressed under A Policing Service for our Future. Further information on progress and updates can be found at the following link