Report shows culture change needed in an Garda Síochána- Sherlock

Seán Sherlock TD
01 November 2017

Labour spokesperson on Justice, Seán Sherlock TD has said the independent report published today into falsified breath tests and wrongful convictions by an Gardaí reinforces the need for a cultural change and improved oversight within the force.

Deputy Sherlock said the Policing Authority must now be given the necessary power to implement change if we are to reinstall public confidence in the force.

Deputy Sherlock continued.

“This report makes it clear that a cultural change in an Garda Síochána is badly needed, as well as proper oversight to ensure governance and accountability.

“It is really concerning that the number of false breath tests could actually be 400,000 higher than initially thought, and serves to dent the already shaky public confidence in our policing system.

“Some of the factors highlighted in this report, which it says led to the recording of false breath tests in the first place, are a real cause for concern.

“We are presented with a culture that seems obsessed with appearance; of presenting ‘good’ or ‘improving’ data to signify positive performance, regardless of whether the figures actually stack up.

“That there was a sense in the Gardaí that precision wasn’t important, or that no one in management thought to question or sought to verify the numbers of checkpoints and breath tests, are not becoming of a modern police force.

“It is clear that a lack of frontline supervision and training with the breath test devices did not help the situation.

“If we are to expand the number of Gardaí, they should be recruited into an efficient and effective force, using modern equipment and policing methods to improve results.

“To this end, we now need to give the Policing Authority the necessary power and authority to ensure good practice and governance are instilled in an Garda Síochána and implement the recommendations of this report, and the previous report from the Garda Inspectorate.

“The Policing Authority is best placed to get to grips with the issues facing the Gardaí and must be vested with the statutory power to publish a radical reform programme.

“It is vital now that public confidence is restored in the Garda Síochána and that the hardworking men and women in the force can be proud of their organisation.”

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