The An Garda Siochana, the Irish Police Force, is – like every other police force in the democratic world – the one and only enforcer of right and wrong in the country. They are not the judge if it is REALLY right or wrong, that’s what we have the judiciary (the courts and judges) for, but the police has to enforce the laws.
If you enforce the laws, however, you should also be obliged to stick to the laws. It increases your credibility tremendously and you set an all important example. If the rules don’t apply to the enforcer of the laws, then people behave like the children of parents that don’t stick to the rules they spout out. They become unruly and break the rules.
A small example: It is wrong for the Gardai to be allowed to use/handle mobile phones when driving, as long as all of us are not allowed to use mobile phones. And I think that EVEN if the mobile phone use is exclusively in the pursuit of their job….because we all know that it is NOT only in the pursuit of their job when they use the phone.
This is however a really small example and the Irish Gardai do it better:
1) Over the last few years they claimed that they carried out 1.9mio roadside alcohol test, but the Medical Bureau of Road Safety only knows of 1mio. How can there be a discrepancy of nearly a million? (RTE Report)
2) 14,500 people were prosecuted for road traffic offences and will have their convictions quashed because the gardai screwed up. They were brought to court without getting a fixed charge notice first. Not ok! (How come it took so long to come out?) The people that now get their money back and points removed because they drove 3km/h too fast (I got 3 points for that. Grrr!) are ok in my eyes, but what about people that committed serious traffic offences and who will also go without any penalty now? (RTE Report)
3) The Sergeant Maurice McCabe saga that is also called the Garda Whistleblower Scandal where Maurice McCabe lifted the lid on Garda corruption around the penalty point system and was threatened within the police force and a cover up was attempted is still not completely sorted. 5 years after it started!
4) This week it emerged that there are financial irregularities at the Garda College in Templemore. They had 50 (!) bank accounts for the college and used money for entertainment and presents that should not have been used for that. (RTE Report)
5) And now the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan indicates that this might not be the only falsifications there are.
Can we really trust our Police Force? I am sure (and know) there are many Gardai that can be trusted but if there are soo many problems, there seems to be a huge systemic problem and if you need LUCK to get to deal with a “good” Gardai then that doesn’t instill confidence in the enforcer of right and wrong in our country.