“As an organization, we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce.”
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris announced plans to implement an internal corruption unit for the Republic of Ireland's police force, by the end of this year, to investigate the Garda's members who are suspected of engaging in criminal activity.
“As an organization, we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce,” Harris stated. Typical allegations within the Garda include drug abuse, information leak and association with criminals.
The police chief also acknowledged the potential of "inappropriate behavior towards vulnerable victims - towards vulnerable females in particular," and added that he hopes this effort will ensure the public of the Garda's serious devotion to "stamping out" corruption.
Harris stressed that "there is no room for those in the organization who would behave in such a way which is either crime or well outside the standards of behavior that I, and the public, expect of members of An Garda Siochana.”
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris reveals that a new anti-corruption unit within the Gardai will be established by the end of the year. Commissioner now addressing delegates at Association of Superintendents conference in Kildare.— Stephen Breen (@SteBreen) May 8, 2019
The unit will operate out of the Garda Headquarters in Dublin. Initial dispositions have already been ascertained and submitted by Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan.
Sheahan pointed out that the Garda has an advantage in pinpointing potential areas of corruption within the agency.
“We know our workforce best and I think that we have a responsibility to make sure that is a healthy workforce in terms of its behaviors.” The assistant commissioner added that "there are all forms of wrongdoing and corruption that we will become aware of first, it’s very difficult for an external agency to be aware of, for example, data flowing outside of the organization.”
In the past, Garda Headquarters and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission were tasked with investigating corruption but were typically unable to charge officers due to their inability to collect adequate evidence.