Gardaí calls for “transparency in anonymous complaints and false allegations”

A Garda union is calling for a more transparent policy on what it calls “anonymous complaints and false allegations”.

The Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS) recently commissioned an independent survey of 220 superindependents and chief superintendents and found that almost half (48 per cent) believed that “false accusations damaging reputation” had been made against them were raised.

Meanwhile, 33pc claimed they had been defamed on social media.

The union will hold its annual conference in Kildare today, where it will present its concerns to Justice Secretary Helen McEntee.

AGS spokesman Supt Declan McCarthy said: “It’s not just about high-profile police and events, it’s about day-to-day investigations and day-to-day business.

“Forty-eight percent of us felt we had been made false accusations that tarnished our reputation, and 33 percent of us felt defamed on social media.”

Supt McCarthy said their request was a “robust and transparent policy” for the “anonymous complaints and false allegations”.

“For us it would be a matter of welfare and safety and the mission statement of our organization is to keep people safe and we want the same courtesy to be shown to us that we are safe as leaders in the organization ‘ he told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland.

Supt McCarthy said they were also concerned about false allegations being handled under the Protected Disclosures Protocol and that they had a “problem with allowances” which he explained were “cut by 25 per cent” in 2009 and have not been restored despite assurances had been.

A further 1,000 Gardaí were announced in the 2023 budget.

Supt McCarthy said while his union welcomes the move, more needs to be done to future-proof An Garda Síochána.

“Unfortunately, rather than future-proofing, we’re just constantly upgrading and padding the numbers within the organization, and hiring has to be constant and rapid,” he said.

“The rates of production from the operational face, if you will, that the public out there sees, the men and women who are in squad cars and walking on the lofts.

“That’s what the public sees, but the extraction rates from them into the more modern policing, things like the Divisional Protective Services Units, the armed support, all these extractions are from that coal front.”

He added: “And unfortunately, public-facing policing has been affected. And even with recruiting 1,000 we’re trying to get to 15,000, we’re struggling to get there and if we get to 15,000 we’d be worried that number will be consistent going forward.” Gardaí calls for “transparency in anonymous complaints and false allegations”

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