Gardaí afraid to speak up against malpractice, wrongdoing - report

A report into An Garda Síochána has found that gardaí are afraid to speak up against alleged malpractice or wrongdoing because of the consequences.

More than 6,500 gardaí responded to a cultural audit, conducted by PwC Ireland, which also found that senior management is not held in high regard and that many within the organisation were not held accountable for their actions - writes

Gardaí also believe they have a strong sense of pride and commitment but feel that there is too much emphasis on "box ticking" in the job and that promotion is not based on merit, according to the report which is due to be published later today.

It is the first time An Garda Síochána has conducted a cultural audit on such a scale where 40% of members responded and by and large the results are not positive.

It found that the senior leadership in the organisation is not held in high regard, that gardaí spend considerable effort covering themselves in case their work is scrutinised unfairly and that "box ticking trumps the human touch".

The audit found that gardaí believe "silence means survival" so while individuals believe they have the personal courage to speak up, they fear the consequences of doing so.

They are described in the report as "captives not champions" and also say that in the gardaí "it's all about who you know," because promotion is not based on merit.

On the positive side gardaí believe they have a strong sense of commitment and pride in the delivery of a service to the community.

Gardaí believe they make a real difference in their communities but do not have the right resources, skills or information and communications technology.

They also say there is variety and opportunity in the organisation and believe they use their policing powers correctly and appropriately.

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