The Garda Commissioner has warned of a rise in right-wing extremism in Ireland.
He told the Policing Authority that the force’s new Diversity and Integration strategy was part of its response to the growing problem of hate crime.
The three-year strategy includes a new working definition of what a hate crime is and is aimed at enhancing the force’s response to it.
Commissioner Harris said the rise of right-wing extremism is a “growing concern” for international police services and intelligence agencies.
“It is very clear from my interactions with my European colleagues but then also what I see myself – there is a rise of right-wing extremism right across Europe,” he said.
“The difficulty with it is that it is spread through the web; it is spread through social media and we just need to be very careful, in terms of some of the things that have happened of late here in Ireland, that we are not seeing it start to arrive here on our shores as well.”
He said Gardaí are “very acutely aware” of the intelligence and policing response needed “to thwart that particular threat.”
“It is a growing concern right across law enforcement and intelligence agencies across Europe and we also have to be mindful of that as well,” he said.
The new Garda strategy has a strong emphasis on human rights as a foundation for providing policing services.
Members will also be offer diversity, integration and hate crime training.