Crowe report on Garda Adult Cautioning Scheme published

05/02/2021
In October 2019, the Policing Authority commissioned Crowe to undertake a review of the Garda Síochána administration of the Adult Cautioning Scheme. The context for commissioning this review related to the issues raised during the Authority’s oversight of the Youth Diversion Programme, which resulted in stark findings concerning failures to administer the programme appropriately and system failures within the Garda Síochána.

The Crowe team, led by Shane McQuillan (partner) and Catherine Rogers (senior manager), undertook an extensive review of the operation of the scheme, including site visits to 16 Garda stations across 8 divisions nationally, and detailed examination of the data relating to adult cautions. Crowe’s team included a number of associate consultants with substantial operational policing experience, providing essential insight into the practical operation of the criminal justice system.

The review found a number of issues of concern relating to the administration of the Adult Cautioning Scheme, including weak governance, inconsistencies in its operation, deficiencies in data and systems, poor or non-existent training of Gardaí, and a lack of leadership.

Policing Authority Chairperson, Bob Collins commented on the publication of the review:
“As well as highlighting a number of significant challenges in the operation of the Adult Cautioning Scheme, this review speaks to wider, systemic weaknesses in the Garda Síochána in relation to governance, data quality, training and allied areas. This is consistent with themes identified by the Authority in other areas as part of our ongoing oversight of the Garda Síochána. The Authority welcomes the Garda Commissioner’s commitment to addressing the challenges identified by this review.”

Shane McQuillan, Crowe partner, commented:
“This was a complex review which has highlighted a number of matters of serious concern in critical areas of An Garda Síochána such as weak governance, poor accountability, lack of accurate data, and lack of training, many of which have been seen in previous reviews, including the major report which Crowe completed for the Policing Authority in 2017 relating to the reporting of breath tests and the incorrect prosecution of nearly 150,000 people for road traffic offences. We are pleased to learn that the Garda Commissioner has made a commitment to address the issues which we have identified in this report for the Policing Authority.”

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Crowe Garda Adult Cautioning Scheme report cover
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Shane McQuillan, Partner, Consulting - Crowe Ireland
Shane McQuillan
Partner, Consulting
Clodagh O'Brien, Partner, Consulting - Crowe Ireland
Clodagh O'Brien
Partner, Consulting