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Home > Quality and standards in human services in Ireland: policing and the search for continuous improvement

National Economic and Social Council. (2012) Quality and standards in human services in Ireland: policing and the search for continuous improvement. Dublin: National Economic and Social Council.

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This report focuses on the arrangements which are intended to drive standards, ensure accountability, and support the achievement of quality in provision of policing services.

Chapter 2 provides an outline of the Garda organisation and the context for many of the recent reforms introduced to bolster accountability and drive improvement, primarily through the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

Chapter 3 outlines a number of significant institutions that have been established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and assesses their efficacy both in terms of maintaining accountability and fostering improvement. These include the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, Garda Síochána Inspectorate, Garda Professional Standards Unit, Joint Policing Committees and Local Policing Fora. The chapter concludes by arguing that cultivating improvements requires service providers and users working together to craft solutions tailored to particular problems.

Chapter 4 offers a case-study of this kind of approach in an area in the city-centre of Dublin. It outlines how a regularly convened forum was established between an urban community, and relevant personnel from the gardaí and Dublin City Council in order to develop a co-ordinated strategy in response to drug-dealing and drug-related anti-social behaviour in the North Inner City. The chapter concludes that while the Forum improved relations between community and gardaí it is not clear if it facilitated the kind of learning envisaged in the schema of triple-loop learning discussed in the Overview report (Quality and standards in human services in Ireland: overview of concepts and practice, NESC 2011).

Chapter 5 concludes the report by assessing developments in the Irish system of policing through the lens of the regulatory and quality-inspired models examined in the overview report.

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