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aim of this research was to explore the rather undocumented world of the wider policing community acting in an official capacity on behalf of the Irish state in 2013 and to produce a comprehensive empirical mapping of these governance entities. This group was defined as those operating in a coercive manner at the most extreme end of the social control spectrum and the research therefore focused on those organisations actively prosecuting cases in the Irish courts.
A mixed method design was used to maximise both quantitative and qualitative information. As this mapping exercise was the first of its kind, a complete collection sample was conducted and a comprehensive questionnaire was issued to all identified organisations. Simultaneously, the author completed a documentary analysis of relevant reports produced by Dáil and Seanad Éireann during the first seven months of 2013.
The research succeeded in empirically mapping a total of fifty-one policing organisations, which were active in the Irish criminal justice system. The study also discovered a substantial increase in the proliferation of these policing agencies over the last two decades. In addition, there appeared to be a greater preponderance to select the prosecution option as an enforcement method, with long established organisations now prosecuting for the first time.
The research has relevance to the Irish state, as it has for the first time documented all prosecuting (policing) organisations operating within the Irish criminal justice system, alongside An Garda Síochána and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The study allows policy makers to compare and contrast organisations performing a similar policing role with a view to maximising efficiency of resources and also to ensure that those charged with policing Irish society do so in a fair and transparent manner.
Talbot, T. (2013) Plural Policing: The Multifaceted World of Irish State "Policing” Authorities. Dublin, Masters Dissertation, Technological University Dublin.