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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Garda chiefs slap €60,000 of fines on misbehaving officers

Tom Brady Security Editor

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

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A total of 153 gardai faced sanctions ranging from fines to cautions, warnings and reprimands after being investigated for breaking the regulations.
A total of 153 gardai faced sanctions ranging from fines to cautions, warnings and reprimands after being investigated for breaking the regulations.

GARDA authorities have imposed fines amounting to more than €60,000 on members of the force found guilty of breaches of discipline in the past year.

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A total of 153 gardai faced sanctions ranging from fines to cautions, warnings and reprimands after being investigated for breaking the regulations.

One garda was dismissed under the legislation governing disciplinary regulations, while another resigned as an alternative to being sacked, according to the garda annual report for 2013.

The report confirmed that the services of one member of the Garda Reserve had also been "dispensed with", under the 2006 garda act, which governs the part-timers.

It showed that 24 gardai were on suspension at the end of the year, with 19 subject to internal investigations and the other five facing inquiries by the Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Since being established in May 2007, GSOC has been the sole authority for dealing with complaints made by members of the public in relation to gardai and is also responsible for issues referred to it by the garda commissioner, where the conduct of a garda might have resulted in death or serious harm to a person.

During the year, the complaints section of the gardai opened 1,197 files.

These included 42 incidents, which had been referred to the garda authorities by GSOC and 527 complaints deemed admissible by GSOC. In a separate section, it emerged that there had been 7,753 reports of missing persons to the gardai in 2013.

A breakdown of those showed that 5,980 were deemed to be high risk while 694 were medium risk and 1,079 low risk.

The number of persons still missing for 2013 is 28, but gardai say this figure is operational and subject to change.

The report pointed out that most people were located in a relatively short period and garda investigation files on each of the remaining group would not close until the person had been found.

A freephone missing children hotline number, 116000, has also been set up and is being run by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which provides emotional support to the families and others responsible for missing children.

During 2013, there were 133 people extradited under the European Arrest Warrant system with Poland, Britain and Northern Ireland accounting for 76pc of that number. Others were sent to the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. One person was also extradited to Australia and another to Guernsey.

The number of persons extradited to Ireland from other jurisdictions amounted to 42, which represented a drop of 20pc on the previous year.

More than 70pc of those came here from Britain and Northern Ireland. Others were sent here from Germany, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

Irish Independent

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