On 23 March 2021, the Government approved the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Garda Síochána Operating Model) Bill.
This is a short technical Bill to facilitate the introduction of the new Garda Operating Model.
The new model, announced by the Commissioner in August 2019, introduces changes to the structures of An Garda Síochána by providing more frontline Gardaí, increased Garda visibility, and a wider range of policing services for people in their local area. Under the divisional policing model being introduced, all services will be managed and co-ordinated at divisional level and Garda Districts will no longer form part of the organisational structure.
The General Scheme removes references to Garda District from the Statute Book replacing them with references to Garda Division. The Bill will also amend the rank at which certain statutory responsibilities are assigned, to ensure that the delivery of relevant services, such as the issuing of firearms licences, and certain court functions, are not affected by the new structures.