Gardaí are failing to meet key targets on crime detection and performance, an internal, unpublished report has found.

Senior officials in the Department of Justice have also raised concerns with the Minister for Justice about the failures highlighted in the report.

An internal memo to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan seen by RTÉ’s This Week shows the minister was told of "recurring issues of concern".  

A quarterly evaluation of the 2018 policing plan carried out by gardaí and provided to the Minister in August of this year, shows a range of unsatisfactory activities or missed targets.

They include:

  • Detection rates across almost all crime types being behind target.
  • A slippage in the detection for assaults, burglaries and robberies. This is a result of the introduction of new technology and the time required to embed a new crime prevention strategy throughout the organisation.
  • Failing to enhance the capacity of the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau due to a lack of accommodation and resources.
  • A failure to define hate crime, or develop procedures for the recording of hate crime.
  • A failure to meet targets on identifying victims of human trafficking, or develop a National Crime Prevention and Reduction Strategy.
  • The evaluation report says the target of a decrease in incidents of assault by year end is unlikely to be met.
  • No progress reported on the establishment of an Anti Corruption and Bribery Unit and targeting money laundering.

The report also highlights the failure of gardaí to attract and recruit applicants from minority groups, and the absence of a comprehensive reserve strategy.

On roads policing it says the number of multi-agency checkpoints have fallen below anticipated levels.

A number of senior officials who read the report prior to its submission to the Minister commented on it.

One official said: "There is a developing issue here in relation to An Garda Síochána overestimating their capacity to deliver, and/or underestimating the resources required to deliver on the commitments being made in the annual Policing Plan."

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The Acting Secretary General of the department commented that there were "a number of recurring issues which are of concern" in the report.

The performance evaluation was sent to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in August.

A spokesman for the Minister for Justice said "the Garda Commissioner has operational responsibility for An Garda Síochána and it is within his remit to address any shortfall in performance."

"It is worth noting that the Policing Plan and associated targets are agreed by the Commissioner and approved by the Policing Authority with the consent of the Minister" he said.  

When asked to respond to the report the Garda Press Office said: "There are 121 initiatives and sub-initiatives contained within the 2018 Policing Plan."

"Approximately 50% of initiatives contained in the current plan are rated off-target as the milestones set have not been met. For project based targets, progress has been made in almost all cases. Some of that progress has been significant and while targets will not be met in 2018, many are likely to be met in 2019."

"An Garda Síochána is currently progressing a transformational change programme and this is stretching the organisation’s enabling functions such as HR, ICT and training. Every effort is being made to progress initiatives to a successful conclusion within these constraints."

The report also highlights targets which have been met including achieving increased reporting of sexual crime, and an increase in the reporting of domestic abuse, the development of a policy to safeguard children from online exploitation, and the establishment of a fraud prevention awareness campaign.