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Minister Fitzgerald publishes Garda Inspectorate report on Crime Investigation


Minister  says Inspectorate report raises serious concerns and represents a
highly challenging analysis of Garda processes and systems

Minister  welcomes  comprehensive  recommendations  on  need  for  upgraded
technology, effective systems and changes to management practice

Report  will  contribute  to Minister’s ongoing reforms aimed at delivering
‘sea-change in policing’

   ·     New  Policing Authority to play key roles in implementation of Garda
   ·     Government  commits  to upgrading Garda technology to bring outdated
      paper based practices into the 21st century
   ·     CSO   to   carry-out  analysis  of  recording,  classification  and
      reclassification  of  crime  on  Garda Pulse system; and to chair new
      Expert Panel to draw up new National Standards for Crime Counting
   ·     Minister welcomes Garda plans to establish new Data Quality Team and
      to establish Victim Liaison Office in every Garda division
   ·     Minister  commits  to  new legislation to allow implementation of EU
      Victims Directive and ratification of Istanbul Convention on domestic

The   Report   is   available   on   the   Department’s  website.  Link  is

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality, has today published
the  report  of the Garda Inspectorate on Crime Investigation. The Minister
thanked the Garda Inspectorate for their work on this comprehensive report.

The  Minister  said:  “The  Inspectorate report raises serious concerns and
represents  a  highly  challenging analysis of Garda processes and systems,
highlights  serious  systemic weaknesses; and will inform my ongoing reform
of policing in Ireland.”

In  its  report,  the  Inspectorate  has  found a police service in need of
modernisation   of   its   crime   investigation  operational  and  support
infrastructure.  The  report  identifies the absence of up-to-date dispatch
technology as well as deficiencies in practices, supervision and governance
relating  to  the recording, classification and investigation of crime. The
report  examines  the current system for counting and categorising recorded
crime and the level of recorded detections for those crimes; and highlights
concerns in this area.

The  Minister  added  that  “while  rightly  unsparing in its criticisms in
relation  to  identified inadequacies, it also recognises that the systemic
challenges and deficiencies identified during the inspection are not unique
to  An Garda Síochána but are common right throughout the world in policing

The Minister stated: “This report, undertaken as part of the Inspectorate’s
work  agreed  by  the  Government,  is  a vital piece of work which is long
overdue.  I  welcome  the  comprehensive  recommendations  on  the need for
upgraded  technology, effective systems and changes to management practice.
The  Inspectorate’s  analysis  provides  an  important foundation stone for
future development of a 21st century policing service for Ireland.”
The  Report  states that “The Inspectorate was impressed by the hundreds of
hard  working  and  dedicated  rank and file officers, reserves and support
staff (they) met in every region, that were doing their best to get the job
done,  not  withstanding  inefficient  processes, dated technology and poor
management practices…”

Commenting  on  this, the Minister stated “the report rightly acknowledges,
as  I  do,  the dedication and commitments of the men and women of An Garda
Síochána  who  strive  everyday to ensure the safety of our communities and
the  security  of  our  state. Day-in-day-out, members of An Garda Síochána
have  many  considerable  successes  in  preventing  and  detecting  crime,
identifying and arresting offenders and keeping our communities safe.”

“There  is  a  pressing need to ensure that An Garda Síochána has access to
effective,  modern  systems  and  processes; particularly where systems and
processes have not kept pace with developments in broader society and other
police services globally”.

The  Inspectorate  Report represents the culmination of more than two years
of intensive work and is the largest and most comprehensive inspection done
to date by the Inspectorate.  Every facet of how An Garda Síochána responds
to  and investigates crime is addressed, with more than 200 recommendations
set out for implementation over the short, medium and long term.

The   Minister  noted  that  the  Government  was  already  implementing  a
comprehensive justice reform programme, which includes:
   ·    establishment of an independent Police Authority;
   ·     strengthening  of  the  powers  of  the  Garda  Síochána  Ombudsman
      Commission; and
   ·    an open competition for the recruitment of the Garda Commissioner.

Implementation of this programme is being overseen by the Cabinet Committee
on  Justice  Reform  chaired  by  An  Taoiseach.  Minister Fitzgerald today
confirmed  that the Cabinet Committee on Justice Reform will also take on a
role   in   overseeing   delivery  of  Garda  reforms  recommended  by  the

The Minister added: “The reforms already underway, coupled with the reforms
which  will  follow  as  a result of the Inspectorate’s analysis, will show
that  this  Government  and  I  are  committed  to  delivering fully on the
‘sea-change in policing’ which I promised when I took office in May of this

“Whatever  the  difficulties that have given rise to it, we now have a once
in  a  generation  chance  to  modernise fundamentally An Garda Síochána to
ensure  we  have  a  policing  service  equipped  and ready to meet all the
challenges of 21st century policing; and which puts victims first.”

New Policing Authority to play key roles in implementation of Garda reforms
Last Friday, Minister Fitzgerald published details of the legislation which
will  see  the establishment of a new Policing Authority.  The Minister has
today said that “the planned new Policing Authority will play a key role in
implementation of reforms recommended by the Inspectorate.”

The  Minister  hopes  to  name the first Chairman-designate of the Policing
Authority shortly.

The  Minister  stated:  “Ahead  of the formal establishment of the Policing
Authority,  I  intend  holding  discussion  with  the Chairman-designate on
establishment  of an effective implementation framework to oversee delivery
of  reforms  in  An  Garda  Síochána  along  the  lines  recommended by the

Minister Fitzgerald has also welcomed the decision of An Garda Síochána to
establish both:
   ·    An Implementation Steering Group to immediately focus on the
      implementation of the short, medium and long-term recommendations in
      the Report;
   ·    Risk compliance and continuous improvement teams which will be
      introduced in each region to support a revised focus on professional
      standards and to tackle any weaknesses identified in the
      Inspectorate’s report

The Minister added that “the incoming Garda Commissioner, who is due to be
appointed shortly following an open competition, will be charged with
driving implementation of many of the reforms arising from the
Inspectorate’s analysis.”

Government commits to upgrading Garda technology
The  Inspectorate clearly attaches significant weight to its recommendation
that  An  Garda  Síochána  should immediately move to acquire the necessary
modern   technology   to   underpin  efficient  and  effective  operational
deployment and support decisions.

Minister  Fitzgerald  stated:  “It  is  vital that Gardai going about their
day-to-day  policing duties have access to modern systems which will ensure
reliable recording of crime

“The  Government and I accept this fully and I am working with my colleague
Minister  Howlin  to secure the necessary and early investment in upgrading
Garda  technology  to  bring  outdated  paper based practices into the 21st

The Minister indicated she would be making further announcements shortly on
the issue of investing in Garda technology, including in the context of the
expected review of An Garda Síochána under the Haddington Road Agreement.

Minister welcomes Garda plans to establish new Data Quality Team
The Inspectorate’s analysis raises issues concerning the recording of crime
and  includes  detailed  recommendation designed to improve the consistency
and  accuracy  of  data  within  the  Garda  PULSE  system.  As  the report
recognises,  these  issues  have been reported in other police services and
the  Inspectorate’s  recommendations draw from measures introduced in those

Minister Fitzgerald today welcomed plans by Garda management to establish a
new Data Quality Team in the Garda Information Services Centre (GISC) based
in   Castlebar,   as  well  as  measures  to  strengthen  PULSE  governance
arrangements.   The  setting  up  of  a  Data  Quality  Team  will  provide
independent  oversight of the classification, reclassification of crime and
crime  detections. The Team will work with local Garda management to ensure
a  consistent  approach  to  crime  recording  and  to ensure that crime is
correctly classified first time around.

The  Minister  stated:  “I welcome the immediate measures being taken by An
Garda  Síochána  including  establishment of a new Data Quality Team. These
reforms  will  address  many of the Inspectorate’s recommendations and will
further  strengthen  the  accuracy  and  integrity  of  crime recording and
classification by Gardai.”

CSO to carry-out analysis of recording, classification and reclassification
of crime on Garda Pulse system
Minister  Fitzgerald  has held discussions with the Director General of the
Central  Statistics  Office  in  relation  to  ensuring  the  integrity  of
published crime statistics.

The  Minister  stated:  “Following my meeting, the CSO have now informed me
that they are to carry-out a detailed  analysis of certain issues raised by
the   Inspectorate   in  relation  to  the  recording,  classification  and
reclassification of crime on Garda Pulse system, to see whether and to what
extent  they  may  have  implications  for  the crime statistics which that
Office produces.

The  Minister  added:  “This  exercise will be of significant importance in
helping to ensure and enhance the integrity of published crime statistics.”

The  Minister  further  welcomes the fact that the CSO will now examine the
means of carrying out a national Crime and Victimisation Survey in the near
future,  which  will  provide further insight into the extent and nature of
crime in Ireland, independent of reported crime statistics.

Expert Panel to draw-up new National Standards for Crime Counting
The  Minister  also today confirmed that the CSO will chair an expert panel
to examine the Inspectorate’s recommendations on crime statistics.

The  Minister  stated: “The expert panel will review the crime counting and
detection  rules,  as  recommended  by  the  Inspectorate,  with  a view to
introducing new national standards. As well as including representatives of
my  Department  and  An Garda Síochána, the panel will have outside experts
with relevant expertise.”

Minister welcome plans for Garda Victim Liaison Office to be established in
every Garda division
The  Inspectorate’s  analysis  rightly  focuses on the needs of victims and
identifies  many  areas  where  the  police  response needs to be improved,
including when dealing with victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Minister  Fitzgerald  stated:  “The support for victims in our own criminal
justice  system  has  improved in recent times but it has had a long way to
come, and there is certainly much more to be done.”

The  Minister  said  that  she  will  also  be  taking steps to improve the
capacity of victim support organisation funded by her Department to provide
advice and assistance to victims at all stage of the criminal process.

“I  know from the personal feedback I have received from victims that these
services are highly valued in times of trauma and uncertainty, and that the
additional funding will certainly be put to very good use.”

The  Minister welcomed the initiative currently been undertaken by An Garda
Síochána  which  will  see Victim Liaison Offices established in each Garda
division  during  2015.  The  Victims  Services Offices will be the central
point  of  contact  for  all  victims  of  crime  and  trauma in each Garda
Division. They will provide advice, information and support to victims. The
Offices will supplement victim support activity already being undertaken by
members  of  An  Garda  Síochána. The Offices will be staffed by dedicated,
specially   trained  personnel  who  will  keep  victims  informed  of  all
significant  developments  associated  with  their case, as well as provide
guidance  and  support  as  appropriate. They will provide victims of crime
with a direct contact to ensure they get the service they deserve.

The  Minister stated: “This is a very welcome development which has my full
support.  I  also  welcome  the  strong  emphasis the Garda authorities are
placing  on  crime  prevention  and  victim  support  and on embedding this
culture within the Force.”

Minister Fitzgerald also welcomed the decision by An Garda Siochana,
following a successful pilot, to roll out a system of risk assessing all
domestic violence incidents.

New  legislation  to  allow  implementation  of  EU  Victims  Directive and
ratification of Istanbul Convention on domestic violence
The  Inspectorate  report  makes  a  number  of specific recommendations in
relation to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Minister   Fitzgerald   has   committed  to  comprehensively  strengthening
Ireland’s  approach to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual and
domestic violence.

The  Minister  stated:  “At the heart of this commitment is my intention to
legislate  for  victims’ rights and to ensure the implementation in Ireland
during  2015  of  the EU Victims Directive. I will also bring forward a new
Sexual  Offences  bill  and I intend to introduce consolidated and reformed
domestic  violence legislation to address all aspects of domestic violence,
threatened   violence   and  intimidation.  This  legislative  agenda  will
reinforce  my  plans for Ireland to sign and ratify the Council of Europe’s
Convention  on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic
violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention.”

Garda organisational reform
Minister  Fitzgerald  today confirmed that An Garda Síochána are responding
positively  to  the  organisational reform issues identified in the report,
some  of  which are linked to a further review the Inspectorate is carrying
out as part of the Haddington Road process.

The  Minister  stated:  “One  key reform will be arrangements to strengthen
investigative  and  management  capacity  at  Divisional  level.  However I
believe  it  is  vitally  important  that  Gardai maintain links with local
communities which are a hallmark of policing in Ireland.”

Issues identified in the report by Seán Guerin
At the request of Minister Fitzgerald, the Inspectorate report also
considers those issues identified in the report by Seán Guerin SC relating
to Garda practices and procedures which come within the Inspectorate’s
remit. The report deals with those issues in an addendum, and groups them
into themes which are covered in the main body of the report. In respect of
each theme, the addendum indicates the issues identified in the report by
Mr Guerin, and relates them to the relevant findings and recommendations of
the Inspectorate.

Minister Fitzgerald concluded: “The Government wanted this important report
and we are determined to act on it. We will work to equip An Garda Síochána
as  a  policing  service  ready  to meet all the challenges of 21st century
policing; and which puts the needs of victims first.”