What is the history and how well are rights respected by An Garda Siochana today? Brief History An Garda Siochana launched the Human Rights Initiative in 1999 followed by an international conference on human rights and policing in 2000, the establishment of the Human Rights Office and the publication of the Declaration of Professional Values and Ethical Standards in 2003.
In 2004 Ionann Management Consultants (London) carried out a Human Rights Audit on an An Garda Siochana.
This involved reviewing the relevant legislation, looking at the Garda Annual Reports, Corporate Plan and other internal documents including An Garda Siochana Code, reports and documents from NGOs such as Amnesty International, Irish Council for Civil Liberties and other external (mainly UN) documents.
The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture had made 3 visits to Ireland b 2004 and noted its concerns as follows:- 1) ill treatment of suspects by police 2) excessive force used during May Day demonstration 3) need to ensure that all police officers are made aware that ill-treatment of detained people is not acceptable 4) human rights concepts had to be better integrated into proactical professional training 5) allegations of ill treatment should be promptly and properly investigated 6) police officers should be reminded that they are required to report their own use of force and report report unreported or unlawful use of force by fellow officers.
The following points were made that human rights:- .
must underpin all training and be a common thread .
should be part of the core in-service training programme .
It was important to encourage people to think, not just repeat things by rote .
There was also a need for balance eg.
posters about human rights but not about victims rights .
It was important to have skills training eg.
interviewing techniques for detectives.
Police have special responsibility as an organ of the state with strong powers.
An Garda Siochana was said to be a very conservative organisations.
There could be prejudices about certain groups.
Students were encouraged to leave their prejudices behind.
They came with prejudices for example on Travellers and crime.
It was only recently that more women were joining.
It would be good to have more diversity in An Garda.
The biggest obstacle was seen as the Irish language requirement.
It was also important to try to engage more working class Irish youth.