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Comment from An Garda Síochána on Garda Inspectorate Report on Internal Anti-Corruption Measures

Issue Date: 25/03/2021

An Garda Síochána welcomes the publication today of the Garda Inspectorate’s Report on Countering the Threat of Internal Corruption. The Report is very useful and informative.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has spoken on numerous occasions about the importance of An Garda Síochána having robust anti-corruption structures, strategies and processes. They will enhance public confidence and trust. It will also protect the overwhelming majority of Garda personnel who conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity.

Speaking today, Commissioner Harris said, "Our personnel rightly take great pride in their professional, ethical and human rights focused approach to policing. Strong anti-corruption measures help support all Garda personnel. There is no room in An Garda Síochána for anyone who engages in corruption and whose standards fall below what the public and I expect from Garda personnel. Our integrity as an organisation is not negotiable.”

"Such measures also help keep people safe. It is an unfortunate reality that experience has shown us that a small number of Garda personnel have abused their position of trust for their own gain. These individuals put themselves before the needs of the communities we serve and their colleagues, and in doing so damage individuals and the reputation of An Garda Síochána,” said Commissioner Harris.

In line with commitments under the Government’s A Policing Service For Our Future plan, An Garda Síochána has introduced a number of measures to strengthen its capabilities in this area.

These include:

  • The appointment of Deputy Commissioner, Strategy, Governance & Performance as the Senior Police Leader with responsibility for governance and oversight of counter corruption practices/activities in An Garda Síochána.
  • The establishment of the Garda Anti-Corruption Unit (GACU) in November 2020 which will promote integrity and professionalism in An Garda Síochána through the prevention, identification and, when necessary, the investigation of corruption. The Unit is headed up by a Chief Superintendent and two Detective Superintendents supported by 23 Gardaí across the other ranks. An additional four Gardaí and nine Garda staff are due to be allocated to the GACU shortly.
  • A Strategic Threat and Risk Assessment of Corruption in An Garda Síochána has been completed. A number of policies and procedures have been developed to mitigate against organisational risks identified in this Strategic Threat and Risk Assessment. - For example, policies on Anti-Corruption; Substance Misuse (Controlled Drugs); and Professional Boundaries and Abuse of Power for Sexual Gain will be published shortly.
  • The implementation of a Governance Framework to inform corporate decision making on counter corruption priorities.
  • Agreement with an independent, third-party service provider to provide an integrity reporting line for Garda personnel wishing to report wrongdoing in the workplace. This will be launched shortly.
  • Any members of the public wishing to make a complaint about members of An Garda Síochána can continue to do so through the usual channels including to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)
  • Internal communications to inform Garda personnel about the work of the Garda Anti-Corruption Unit and to support counter corruption activities have commenced and will continue.

It should be noted that not all the recommendations in the Garda Inspectorate report relate to An Garda Síochána. In addition, some recommendations will also require investment in ICT infrastructure, as well as legislative change.

An Garda Síochána will now review the report and, as requested, provide its views to the Department of Justice.