Sunday 11 December 2016

Garda Commissioner says access to phone records a 'very effective tool' in crime investigation

Published 20/01/2016 | 13:10

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Mark Condren
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Mark Condren

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan has said the access to phone records is a “very effective tool worldwide” for investigating crimes and there are “very robust safeguards” in place.

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Ms O’Sullivan spoke for the first time today about the ongoing controversy over the State authorities snooping on the phone records of journalists.

The head of the garda force said that the retention of communications data is necessary in order protect citizens from terrorism and other criminal activities.

“The focus in the legislation is making sure, that as the primary law enforcement agency in the State, that can properly, effectively investigate crime and terrorism and ensure that individuals are safe,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan said that the force are investigating a number of serious crimes and needed to be able to do that effectively.

“Our primary focus is making sure that crime is investigated fully, properly and thoroughly – and that all the resources that are necessary to investigate those crimes and to get answers for those families are put in place.

“ We take the investigation of crime very seriously and we make sure that the resources that are required in the investigation of all crimes [are in place],” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan added that she had seen some suggestions that unnecessarily high numbers of gardaí are being tasked with investigating leaks from the force.

“That is simply untrue. There is no foundation for those comments,” she said.

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