Home > An Garda Síochána Policing Plan 2017.

Guiney, Ciara (2018) An Garda Síochána Policing Plan 2017. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 64, Winter 2018, p. 29.

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An Garda Síochána Annual Policing Plan 2017 identifies the main policing concerns for 2017.1 Consistent with previous plans, it has considered the views of the community; An Garda Síochána (AGS); external stakeholders, including the Minister for Justice and Equality as well as the Garda Síochána Strategy Statement July 2016—2018;2 ministerial directives; resource capacity; Joint Policing Committees; crime data analysis; and research. However, for the first time, in contrast to previous policing plans, priorities and targets have been agreed in talks between AGS and the Policing Authority, who will monitor how AGS will meet those targets. A number of areas have been highlighted by AGS in 2017: national and international security; confronting crime; roads policing; community engagement and public safety; and organisational development and capacity improvement.


National and international security

Due to ongoing challenges arising from terrorism and how it is funded, counterterrorism tactics are being strengthened. Drawing on an interagency approach between AGS, community and partner groups, and other law enforcement agencies both nationally and internationally, the emphasis is on prevention, overcoming challenges, sharing Intel, and prosecution. A key component of major emergency preparation involves training and risk assessment.


Confronting crime

A key element of AGS strategies is to deter crime. Existing multiagency approaches north and south of the Irish border have been effective in the fight against cross-border crime. This has been further strengthened by the formation of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which aims to actively target individuals associated with organised crime.


Roads policing

Saving lives is important to AGS. One area that influences this outcome is road safety. Already via multiagency collaboration there has been a decrease in road deaths. However, this plan acknowledges that more needs to be done to ensure road safety in Ireland is similar to that in other leading European countries. In order to do this, AGS aims to implement relevant legislation; analyse collisions; carry out ‘targeted intelligence-led operations’; and increase the use of automatic number plate recognition technology (p. 12). Moreover, the Garda Traffic Corps is to be renamed the Garda Roads Policing Unit; this change will also involve greater visibility and policing functionality on Irish roads.


Community engagement and public safety

One of the core strengths of AGS is its ability to engage with and be part of the community. This plan builds on this strength via collaborative work that stresses the importance of crime prevention initiatives. In order to overcome the debilitating effects of fear caused by criminality, the aim is that AGS will have a highly visible presence and will continue to develop strong relationships within communities to increase trust and confidence. These steps will be further enhanced by the use of evidence-based interventions.


Organisational development and capacity improvement

In 2016, the Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016—2021, a five-year initiative that aims to update the culture and structure of AGS, was launched.3 The initiative outlines the mission, direction, plans and challenges for AGS from 2016 to 2021. The programme is expected to give rise to a service that is more modern, accountable, professional, and performance driven. As an organisation, AGS recognises that an essential ingredient necessary to achieve this outcome is the unrelenting perseverance and steadfastness from the Garda, civilian and reserve members it employs. They are committed to making the right tools, guidance and support, appropriate training and development available along with the right leadership so that employees can carry out their roles effectively. They believe that this will enable AGS to take its place among world-class policing and security services globally. It is expected that the 2017 Policing Plan will have a genuine impact on the communities that AGS serves.

1  An Garda Síochána (2017) An Garda Síochána Annual Policing Plan 2017. Dublin: An Garda Síochána. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27736/

2  An Garda Síochána (2016) An Garda Síochána statement strategy July 2016—2018. Dublin: An Garda Síochána. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27305/

3  An Garda Síochána (2015) An Garda Síochána modernisation and renewal programme 2016—2021. Dublin: An Garda Síochána. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/27306/

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Issue Title
Issue 64, Winter 2018
February 2018
Page Range
p. 29
Health Research Board
Issue 64, Winter 2018
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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