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Gardai 'need body cameras and GSOC should go' - report

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Garda report has 50 proposals

Garda report has 50 proposals

Garda report has 50 proposals

Gardai should wear body cameras to improve policing and protect them from harm, a report on the force has recommended.

A national intelligence-gathering centre should also be created in response to the serious risks that international terrorism and organised crime pose to the State.

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (CFPI) has made 50 key recommendations following a year-long review.

Harm

It called for officers to be equipped with body cameras, which are used by police organisations across the world.

The cameras can "help to improve frontline capability with the accurate recording of incidents, expedite analysis, enhance situational awareness and sometimes protect police from harm", according to the commission.

It also recommended that a Strategic Threat Analysis Centre (STAC) is set up urgently to improve intelligence-gathering in relation to terror suspects and organised criminals.

The intelligence service would answer to the Taoiseach's Department and see the organisation's security and intelligence sections strengthened.

Another recommendation made by the commission is to replace the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission with a new independent complaints body, where incidents rather than individual officers would be investigated.

This body, the CFPI said, should also have the remit to investigate allegations of criminal behaviour against retired or resigned members of the force.

Efforts to reduce non-core responsibilities for gardai were also made, including that all prosecution decisions should be taken away from gardai.

The report also calls for enhanced capabilities to counter cybersecurity threats and cybercrime.

Commission chair Kathleen O'Toole said it had achieved an "ambitious but achievable programme for reform". However, no budget was suggested.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the report will be the roadmap for the force and its partners over the next three to five years.

Direct funding for a garda wellness programme has also been advised, while in terms of oversight an independent examiner should be appointed to review serious crime legislation.


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