Home > An Garda Síochána strategy statement and policing plan, 2022.

Guiney, Ciara (2023) An Garda Síochána strategy statement and policing plan, 2022. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 85, Spring 2023, pp. 28-30.

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Strategy Statement 2022–2024
An Garda Síochána Strategy Statement 2022–2024 was published on 9 June 2022.1 The mission of An Garda Síochána (AGS) for the duration of the strategy is simply ‘Keeping people safe’
(p. 6). While the strategy is set against the backdrop of living in a post-pandemic world, with global political and economic uncertainty, AGS is committed to evolving and meeting policing demands that are continually changing. The five pillars that the strategy focuses on are:

  • Community
  • Tackling crime and preventative policing
  • ictims and the vulnerable
  • Protecting the security of the Irish State
  • Sustainable change and innovation. 

Policing Plan 2022
The AGS Annual Report Policing Plan 2022,2 proposed by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, represents the first of three annual plans to give effect to the AGS Strategy Statement 2022–2024.1 The focus of the Policing Plan 2022 is on community policing and preventing and detecting crime. While drug trafficking is only mentioned in the community pillar, it is implied throughout the plan that drugs will be targeted.

Strategic pillars
Initiatives related to the five pillars in the policing plan are highlighted below.

AGS aims to continue to strengthen connections with communities and to work in partnership to keep people safe. It will achieve this by using a proactive problem-solving approach, by continuing to implement the Community Policing Framework, and by increasing engagement with vulnerable and minority groups in order to strengthen understanding of their needs. Tackling drug trafficking and the harm caused by drug dealing will also be continued.2

Tackling crime and preventative policing
The priority is to deal with current and emerging trends in crime by targeting organised crime, implementing approaches that will increase the ability of AGS to identify and disrupt new and emerging criminal activities in private, rural, and urban settings. In addition, the aim is to increase collaboration with internal, national, and international stakeholders. It is hoped that this will be achieved by an intelligence-led response to crime, by targeting increases in fraud and cyber-enabled crimes, by completing and reviewing the National Criminal Intelligence Framework and the Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment, and by disrupting organised and serious crime.2

Victims and the vulnerable
The aim here is to reduce harm by promoting and protecting the dignity and human rights of victims and all vulnerable individuals engaging with AGS. This will be achieved by enhancing capability to support victims of domestic violence, including coercive control, and by ensuring that supports are available for victims and those that are vulnerable.2

Protecting the security of the Irish State
AGS aims to protect Ireland and its people from terrorism and threats. This will be achieved by increasing security and intelligence capability via the continued implementation of the Security and Intelligence Operating Model, participating in Major Emergency Management interagency structures and carrying out intelligence-led operations nationally and internationally.2

Sustainable change and innovation
In order to inspire and sustain continuous improvement, a culture of innovation needs to be adopted. To achieve this, the AGS change management capacity building plan needs to be implemented. This will enhance innovation and responsiveness to change.2

Strategic enablers
Five enablers are essential to the successful implementation of the policing plan. These
are people and purpose; partnerships; engagement; empowerment and trust; and information-led policing.

People and purpose
AGS aims to be a people-focused organisation where workplace culture is encapsulated by valuing and supporting employees. Priorities between 2022 and 2024 include personnel recruitment that fosters and embraces diversity, supporting and adapting to changes in how AGS works, enhanced learning, development, and information sharing, and the implementation of ‘health and wellbeing strategy initiatives’ (p. 13).2

Engagement in collaborative partnerships with specialists, thought leaders, universities, and research hubs are viewed as a way to increase knowledge, service, and effectiveness nationally and internationally.

Two-way communication needs to be strengthened, allowing engagement via new and existing channels. The Public Attitudes Survey and Cultural Audits within AGS will increase understanding and allow appropriate responses to be developed.

Empowerment and trust
A culture of empowerment and trust needs to be nurtured and rooted in integrity and the protection of human rights. AGS hopes to achieve this by increasing professionalism among AGS employees by establishing processes that are effective and efficient and by ensuring that decision-making is centred on ethics and
human rights.

Information-led policing
Finally, an information-led service centred on using data and technology to inform decisions can be achieved by implementing the 2022 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Roadmap, by incorporating data quality processes to improve consistency, and by increasing the abilities of AGS mobility devices and widening their usage.2

Commissioner Harris acknowledged that 2021 was overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic but that AGS remains focused on organisational objectives and goals to keep people safe. He stated that ‘the trust built between the community and An Garda Síochána is at the heart of the service [provided and] … whilst there is a degree of uncertainty in the immediate future, I am confident that we are well placed to deliver on our goal of keeping people safe in 2022’ (p. 4).2

1    An Garda Síochána (2022) An Garda Síochána strategy statement 2022–2024. Dublin: An Garda Síochána. Available from: https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/36428/

2    An Garda Síochána (2022) An Garda Síochána policing plan 2022. Dublin: An Garda Síochána. Available from:

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Issue Title
Issue 85, Spring 2023
July 2023
Page Range
pp. 28-30
Health Research Board
Issue 85, Spring 2023

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