Policing Authority Annual Report 2021
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has welcomed the Annual Report of the Policing Authority for 2021. The report provides an account of the activities of the Authority in its sixth year of operation.
For the second year running, COVID-19 had a major influence on the work of the Policing Authority. The Authority had to adapt its own operations to adhere to the public health restrictions, such as limitations on its in-person engagement. At the same time, the requirements of An Garda Síochána’s policing role during the pandemic necessitated continued work by the Authority to oversee the policing of the pandemic regulations.
Minister McEntee said, “I would like to thank Bob Collins and all the members and staff of the Policing Authority for their steadfast dedication to helping strengthen Ireland’s policing oversight and governance. In particular, the Authority is to be commended for maintaining a focus on the policing response to the pandemic, ensuring that the challenging nature of policing in a pandemic was robustly and independently monitored.”
Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the Authority was highly active across a range of areas with key achievements in 2021 including the holding of 18 Authority meetings; making a significant number of senior appointments to An Garda Síochána; overseeing measures to support human rights based policing within An Garda Síochána, including providing observations on the draft Garda Síochána Human Rights Strategy which was subsequently published in May 2022.
The Minister added, “I was especially pleased to see the importance attached by the Authority to the issue of violence against women, and to the vulnerability of children to involvement with criminality. The special focus of the Authority on engagement with the Garda Commissioner in relation to the inappropriate cancellation of 999 calls was a key area of focus in 2021, and will help to preserve public confidence that all calls for assistance to An Garda Síochána will be handled sensitively and appropriately at all times in the future.”