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Saturday 19 August 2017

Garda officer used Pulse system to check on new girlfriend

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Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

A garda who went snooping for personal details about a new girlfriend on the Garda Pulse system received one of 75 sanctions imposed by authorities last year.

In the case, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigated the woman's claims her ex-partner had accessed her personal details through the Pulse system.

The details of the case are disclosed in the GSOC annual report for 2016 and the woman told GSOC the garda had told her he had looked her up on the system when they had first started dating.

An examination of the Pulse system showed the garda had accessed the woman's details.

GSOC carried out a non-criminal investigation into the claim and the garda involved was interviewed and admitted accessing his former partner's details and that it was not in an official capacity.

According to GSOC, the garda concerned was found to be in breach of discipline and sanctioned.

In another case, two gardaí were sanctioned by their superiors for the manner in which they investigated allegations a teenager had been sexually assaulted by an adult neighbour.

In the case, the teen's parents complained to GSOC that the Garda investigation was unnecessarily delayed, resulting in loss of evidence, and that vital witnesses were not interviewed.

A Garda superintendent investigated the parents' complaints and was supervised by a GSOC officer.

The superintendent's recommendations were endorsed by GSOC, and two of the six gardaí investigated were found to be in breach of the Garda (Discipline) Regulations 2007 and were sanctioned.

In 2016, GSOC received 1,758 complaints containing 3,768 allegations.

This was a 12pc decrease on the number of complaints received in 2015.

The types of allegations were similar to previous years, with about one-third related to abuse of authority and one-third to neglect of duty.

In the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), the West and South Central divisions had the highest number of allegations, while outside the DMR, Galway and Cork City were the Garda divisions with the highest number of allegations.

The report states: "It is important to note that it follows that there is likely to be a higher number of complaints from larger, or busier, divisions."

Irish Independent

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