Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (246)

Catherine Murphy


246. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí by rank and civilians by grade that make up the anti-corruption unit and the internal affairs unit of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46270/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána. Further, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the deployment of personnel and the allocation of resources, as well as decisions taken with regard to the establishment of specialised units within An Garda Síochána. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of personnel and resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure their optimum use.

I understand from the Garda authorities that as of 31 October 2019, there are 15 Garda members and 6 Garda staff assigned to the Internal Affairs Unit in An Garda Síochána, which comes under the remit of the Assistant Commissioner Governance and Accountability. I am further informed that Internal Affairs comprises the Discipline, Complaints and Compensations Sections and the GSOC Liaison Office. It should be noted that the complement of Garda members referred to does not include Gardaí assigned to UN/Foreign Service.

The report of the Commission on the Future of Policing, published and endorsed by Government in 2018, provides a clear vision for a modern, highly professional, human-rights based police service. A Policing Service for the Future, the four year implementation plan giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission, was published in December 2018.

Among the actions contained within the Implementation Plan, is the development of a new Anti-Corruption Unit by An Garda Síochána, as part of a revised discipline system. I am informed that this project is currently at the planning stage. I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that a Chief Superintendent and Detective Superintendent are carrying out the preliminary work on developing the unit, to ensure that this Unit is developed in line with best international practice. There are currently no Garda staff assigned to the unit.