Civilian appointed to lead Garda ‘transformation’

New civilian role part of organisation’s modernisation and renewal programme

The Garda Síochána plans to reform internal and external communications policies and  increase engagement between junior and senior employees

The Garda Síochána plans to reform internal and external communications policies and increase engagement between junior and senior employees

 

A new civilian appointment to An Garda Síochána to lead “strategy and transformation” in the force was announced on Friday.

David Gilbride, who formerly worked at the Department of Justice, has been appointed executive director for strategy and transformation. The newly-created civilian role was introduced as part of the organisation’s modernisation and renewal programme.

Mr Gilbride, who took up the post earlier this month, will be a member of the Garda senior leadership team. He was appointed by the Policing Authority after a recruitment campaign was conducted by the Public Appointments Service.

While at the Department of Justice Mr Gilbride was head of the anti-human trafficking unit. He also held senior positions working on policies, including human rights, prisons, money laundering and terrorist financing.

While working at the Department of Finance he focussed on managing health expenditure.

He holds a degree in history from Trinity College Dublin, and a masters in public management criminal justice administration from the Institute of Public Administration.

He also has a masters in governance from Queens University Belfast, and is a qualified barrister.

He was appointed to the Legal Aid Board last year as the Department of Justice representative, and was due to continue his membership until 2021, but will leave the board shortly.

The Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021 sets out several targeted areas – culture, victim support, technology, crime prevention and cyber crime among them – to which changes will be introduced.

Engagement

The Garda Síochána plans to reform internal and external communications policies, conduct regular public attitude surveys, increase engagement between junior and senior employees, and develop a human resources strategy to ensure the correctly skilled people are in appropriate roles.

The strategy aims to prioritise victims. A policy for investigating domestic abuse cases has been included following consultation with other police forces such as in Sweden and New York. The policy will include the speedy assessment of risk levels, multiagency support, and the use of the skills of a domestic abuse investigator.

“Crime scene kits” will be piloted, including digital cameras which allow gardaí to take evidence in cases where an initially reluctant victim later decides to make a formal complaint.