- Target Audience
- General publicLocal community organisations/NGOsLaw enforcement officers
- key themes association
- Community engagement/civil societyJudiciary and law enforcement
- Peer Reviewed practice
An Garda Síochána — Ireland’s National Police Force
Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit
Type of Organisation: Governmental institution
The role of the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit (GNDIU) and its team of Garda (Police) Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELOs) is to liaise with minority communities and reassure them that police services are available to them without discrimination.
These officers liaise with the Muslim community in general and at their places of worship (mosques and prayer houses) throughout the state. The central function of GNDIU and the Garda (Police) ELOs is to build a relationship of trust and confidence with individual Muslims, and to be attuned to periods or occurrences of heightened vulnerability for this community, especially at times of terrorist threat.
Negative media reporting of Muslims can encourage prejudice and stereotyping of members of this community. To combat this, thanks to their understanding of and excellent relations with the Muslim community, ELOs act to prevent negative media commentary that leads to prejudice and stereotyping of the 'whole' community.
In such instances, the officers also support police by preventing negative police profiling of this community during times of heightened tension and unease.
Garda (Police) ELOs endeavour to learn about this community by maintaining constant communication and contact. Police liaison officers may eventually become privy to information that assists in preventing individuals from becoming radicalised.
The officers are also available to speak with community members wishing to report in confidence any matter that might endanger the Muslim community in general. The Garda Racial, Intercultural & Diversity Office (GRIDO) and Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers demonstrate secure and safe Internet use to the Muslim community via presentations.
In 2005, the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit published two handbooks:
- 'Your Police Service in Intercultural Ireland'
- 'Intercultural Ireland – Your Changing Community'.
Both of these are available on the Garda Website