Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Jim O’Callaghan has called on the Government to authorise the deployment of body-worn cameras for use by members of An Garda Síochána.
The Fianna Fáil TD said the technology will offer greater transparency for not only those in front of the camera, but also for those behind it.
Deputy O’Callaghan said, “Body worn cameras are becoming a common feature of policing in other jurisdictions across the world. There is little doubt that the technology will form a cornerstone of modern policing in the years ahead. Ireland should not fall behind the international trend when it comes to the adoption of such technology.
“London Metropolitan Police successfully deployed over 22,000 body-worn cameras in October 2016 following a trial of the technology. The use of body-worn cameras has had a profoundly positive transformative effect right across the service. The cameras have helped bring about speedier justice for victims as people are more likely to plead guilty after they realise their criminal act has been caught on camera. It has also led to a drop in fictitious complaints against police officers whilst also making policing more accountable. The technology also helps gather better evidence which can be used to secure justice for victims of crime.
“There has undoubtedly been an erosion in trust between the public and An Garda Síochána in recent years. The adoption of body-worn technology will help restore confidence in policing in Ireland, and will give police officers comfort in knowing that fictitious complaints can be exposed at an early stage of disciplinary proceedings.
“The Government needs to provide the resources necessary to achieve the rollout of body-worn cameras right across An Garda Síochána. This should be a top priority for Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan.”