Thursday 21 November 2019

Garda Inspectorate tells gardai to 'retire' the Pulse System

Robert K Olson, Chief Inspector at a Press Conference held by the Garda Inspectorate Picture:Arthur Carron
Robert K Olson, Chief Inspector at a Press Conference held by the Garda Inspectorate Picture:Arthur Carron

Philip Ryan Political Correspondent

GARDA Inspectorate chief inspector Robert Olson has called on gardai to “retire” the PULSE system and update its technology for recording crimes.

Speaking before at an Oireachtas Justice Committee hearing, Mr Olson said the system was “1990s technology” and should be replaced as soon as possible.

“It’s time to retire PULSE, you can’t do it straightaway but it needs to be phased out,” he said.

Mr Olson attended the hearing to discuss the Inspectorate’s damning report on garda investigations, which was published last November.

The report found serious failings in how gardai record crime and was highly critical of how cases are being managed.

Garda Inspectorate deputy inspector Mark Toland said the force needed an “offender management service” to track people who are on bail or who are required to sign on at their local garda stations.

Mr Toland said during his investigation he found people were not signing on at stations at the correct time and this was not being noticed by gardai.

Mr Olson said garda management should dedicate more members to community policing as is done in other countries.

However, he recognised that due to a lack of financial resources gardai do not have the “luxury” to deploy more gardai to community policing.

He suggested “freeing up” sergeants in administration roles and sending them into communities.

He also said the current garda roster was "not fit for purpose" and said he would be raising this issue in a future report on the Haddington Road Agreement.

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