From the mid-1990s onwards, Ireland experienced unprecedented growth levels in immigration from around the world, prompted by the country's changing economic fortunes. In turn, the people of a very small and conservative country saw the rapid development of diverse minorities in their midst, especially in the capital, Dublin.From a sociological point of view, such communities posed challenges for the national police force, An Garda Siochana. As part of a strategy to engage with rapidly changing demographics, An Garda Siochana launched the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office (GRIO). In 2001, the author of this book was invited to establish a framework, and practical measures to negotiate the non-discriminatory policing of Ireland's changing society. The author proposed the appointment of Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELOs) to liaise and reassure members of these new minorities, while developing the officers' own deeper understanding of difference and vulnerability. These appointed ELOs were trained in cultural awareness and difference by the author, in conjunction with minority representatives, which in turn, influenced their thinking in the delivery of a non-discriminatory front-line police service.The role of the ELO makes the Irish police authorities one of the first in the world with specialist officers dedicated to building relations with minorities. This book has many lessons to offer sociologists, academics, criminologists, lawyers, social policymakers and police institutions dealing with the plight of refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants and marginalised people the world over.
The Realities of Policing Diverse Communities from Minority and Police Perspectives
- Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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