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Justice Minister backs body cameras for gardaí

Justice Minister backs body cameras for gardaí

Justice and Equality Minister Charlie Flanagan addresses the GRA yesterday. Photo: Karen Morgan
Justice and Equality Minister Charlie Flanagan addresses the GRA yesterday. Photo: Karen Morgan
Tom Brady

Tom Brady Email

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has given his backing in principle to providing gardaí with body cameras.

The Garda Representative Ass ociation (GRA) has unanimously called for the introduction of the devices, which they say would lead to better evidence in court, provide protection for them and reduce the number of assaults and complaints against its members.

After addressing the association's annual conference in Co Wexford, Mr Flanagan said he was anxious to ensure that the high level of trust and confidence the Irish people had in the Garda continued.

He said he had recently worn a body camera and believed it would add considerably towards protecting gardaí while carrying out their duties while it would also be important in gathering evidence.

Mr Flanagan said as Justice Minister he was providing an unprecedented €1.6bn in funding for the force and he aimed to ensure it had the level of resources available that met the needs of modern policing.

He understood the issues surrounding the introduction of body cameras was under consideration but that he was in favour of th em in principle.

Joe Nugent, chief administration officer of the Garda, said a large number of issues had to be reviewed before a decision could be made.

There was a perception that it was simply a matter of attaching the camera to the uniform but it might be necessary to seek a change in legislation to allow its introduction.

Mr Nugent said they had to consider issues such as how long and in what circumstances the camera should be switched on, how the footage from them was used and privacy regulations. He said they had not yet reached the stage where they would examine the costs involved.

Irish Independent

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