December 19, 2019
Implementation of Garda reforms is urgent – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin’s Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has said that the contents of the Garda Síochána ‘Homicide Investigation Review Team’ final report (HIRT) show that urgent and radical action is needed to change practises within the police service.

He was speaking after the Policing Authority published their comments on the report.

Deputy Kenny said:

“The Policing Authority has previously called attention to the slow and patchy progress of the ‘performance and accountability framework’ (known as PILF), and the lack of appropriate HR practices which would monitor personnel and performance within the Gardaí, and measure standards.

“I am pleased to see that from the new year onwards, the PILF will be mandatory, as will the Code of Ethics.

“The findings of the HIRT are very worrying. It is a litany of sloppy procedures, omission of vital inputs to PULSE which results in very poor data maintenance, misclassification of crime and not taking statements from all witnesses or delay in taking statements.

“The report, and the Authority’s commentary on it, point to an urgent need for the promised reforms to be implemented and it is worth noting that Commissioner Drew Harris feels there is no resistance in the ranks to such implementation.

“If the general public is to have confidence in the police service, people must be convinced that the Gardaí have their interests at heart.

“Since becoming Justice spokesperson for Sinn Féin, I have had many people telling me about how they witnessed and reported crimes but had no statements taken or found that ‘the Guards were not interested’.

“Some have said that when called for help when a crime is in progress, do not come. Whatever the reasons for this, they must be resolved.

“We have a problem in all parts of the state with crime and people are not feeling secure in their homes or going about their business.

“This has to change. People have a right to feel safe in their communities and the police must have this as a priority.”

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