Policing Authority: 10 key points made in the final appraisal

Key points made in appraisal of implementation of AGS’s modernisation programme, Changing Policing in Ireland

Pockets of the Garda have demonstrated a real appetite for change, with significant levels of personal commitment and drive

Pockets of the Garda have demonstrated a real appetite for change, with significant levels of personal commitment and drive

 

Here are 10 key points made in the seventh and final appraisal by the Policing Authority of the implementation by An Garda Síochána (AGS) of its modernisation programme, Changing Policing in Ireland:

1. The majority of the recommendations in the programme, which was adopted by the Government in July 2016, remain outstanding.

2. Change has not “landed” at the front line. The rich data provided in the culture audit evidenced a scepticism towards the modernisation and renewal programme. This could inform future change efforts.

3. Huge resources have been devoted to the programme yielding significant levels of activity. However, the frontline feels disconnected from this work. Despite efforts by the centre to communicate the work being undertaken, this has not been effective.

4. The absence of a strategic vision for AGS in key areas has “bedevilled the implementation of change”. There is still no articulated settled view as to what the expanded AGS workforce should look like, how it will be recruited, trained, organised, or how it can best be effective for the community.

5. Third-party recommendations are accepted quickly by AGS, with little assessment as to the feasibility of their achievement. This has led to AGS repeatedly over-promising and under delivering.

6. Insufficient attention has been and continues to be given to the key enablers of change - HR, ICT, accommodation, training and finance - to the extent that they need to become the first and main focus of the change effort itself. “A continued failure to tackle capacity in these areas will inhibit the success of any planned change.”

7. Planning has been “siloed”, with the result that there is an inability to assess the overall resource demand, identify interdependencies, and prioritise. It also resulted in resources at times being directed to those who “shouted loudest”.

8. Pockets of the Garda have demonstrated a real appetite for change, with significant levels of personal commitment and drive, with the establishment of a Risk Management Office being cited by the authority as an example.

9. There have been some particularly positive developments for victims of crime through work in the areas of the protective services units and the victims’ services offices. These need to be developed further.

10. A costed annual policing plan as the expression of the organisation’s priorities is needed, in which commitments to development are articulated. This would give comfort that resources have been assessed and secured, or alternatively that choices have been made.