The Chair of the Policing Authority has said the organisation is particularly concerned about the failure of so many gardaí and garda staff to accept the code of ethics.

Over half of the members of An Garda Síochána have not signed the code more than two years after it was first introduced.

Josephine Feehily said that the authority was now considering examining if the refusal to sign is localised in particular units or parts of the country.

She also said the authority would want to know if there is a correlation between those not signing and possible complaints about their work, and the impact the decision not to sign was having around the work of gardaí.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said he was disappointed that a high number of gardaí had not engaged with the code of ethics.

He said that he could not really understand why over half had not signed, considering the quality and values of the people in the organisation.

Meanwhile, gardaí say they have reduced the time it takes them to serve bench warrants for the arrest of offenders.

The Policing Authority has been told that gardaí executed an additional 6,000 bench warrants last year and have already executed 11,000 so far this year.

It takes on average 144 days to execute a bench warrant, which is down from 190 days three years ago.

Superintendent Matt Nyland told the authority that the individuals have to be located as they are often trying to evade justice and gardaí often have to go back three or four times before they succeed.

Supt Nyland also said in the case of dangerous criminals, gardaí have to assemble a team and have faced significant criticism for the hours of the morning or night when they have tried to execute them.

He also said that while most warrants are transferred electronically, there were certain difficulties, particularly in relation to warrants for the Fines Act 2014.

These, he said, are not electronically implemented on system, and additional 14,500 landed on garda desks in the last year and a half, and these have to be manually inputted.

Chief Superintendent Barry O'Brien said there is no question of warrants sitting there on the system, but that there are an enormous number to be executed.