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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Sasko Lazarov via Chief Superintendent Jo O'Leary speaking at today's press briefing at Kevin Street Garda Station

Complaints of alleged Garda drug use made to new Anti-Corruption Unit

Testing of Garda personnel for controlled drug use is set to commence in the coming months.

A NEW GARDA Anti-Corruption Unit has received complaints of allegations of drug use among Garda members. 

An Garda Síochána today launched a number of new policies that are to be implemented by the Garda Anti-Corruption Unit (GACU). 

The GACU was established in November 2020 and has developed several policies to “support a safe and ethical workplace”, one of which being the Substance Misuse (Controlled Drugs) Policy. 

The policy, published today, outlines that testing of Garda personnel for controlled drugs within the workplace is to be introduced to prevent and deter their use and to identify individuals using such drugs. 

Testing for controlled drugs will also be carried out in respect of all prospective employees of An Garda Síochána. 

An Garda Síochána intends to commence the drug testing six months from the commencement of the policy. 

Speaking at the launch of the policies at Kevin Street Garda Station today, Assistant Commissioner Pat Clavin said consideration of dismissal “would be the appropriate sanction” for Garda members who fail a drug test. 

Clavin said it is the intention that the drug testing will happen in the workplace.

However, he added: “But if there was information that a member of An Garda Síochána was caught using drugs, and a warrant was obtained, like any member of the public, of course there could be a search of the home of a Garda.” 

Chief Superintendent Jo O’Leary confirmed that the GACU has already received a number of complaints regarding allegations of drug taking. 

O’Leary also confirmed at least one complaint has been made regarding the issue of potential infiltration of gardaí by an organised crime group. 

Garda Anti-Corruption 003 Sasko Lazarov Assistant Commissioner Pat Clavin in Kevin Street Garda Station today Sasko Lazarov

Other anti-corruption policies launched today include the Professional Boundaries and Abuse of Power for Sexual Gain policy and an overarching Anti-Corruption policy. 

The GACU is headed by a Chief Superintendent and two Detective Superintendents, supported by 23 gardaí across remaining ranks. 

Speaking today, Assistant Commissioner Clavin said: “Maintaining full public confidence in the work of An Garda Síochána depends on all Garda personnel demonstrating the highest levels of personal and professional standards of behaviour.”

Clavin added: “There is no tolerance whatsoever for those within our organisation that may choose to abuse their position of trust for their own personal gain or those whose behaviour falls below our standards. 

“The vast majority of Garda personnel conduct themselves honestly and professionally, and the work of the Anti-Corruption Unit will help support and protect them.” 

The Garda Anti-Corruption Unit is to deal only with complaints from members of An Garda Síochána. Complaints from members of the public regarding alleged corruption within An Garda Síochána will still be referred to the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC). 

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