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No-applause snub to Garda Commissioner

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Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan called for evidence of offences going unrecorded to be handed over

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan called for evidence of offences going unrecorded to be handed over

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan called for evidence of offences going unrecorded to be handed over

A MAJOR row between the Garda Commissioner and the organisation which represents more than 11,200 rank-and-file gardai has been defused.

There was controversy after the president of the Garda Representative Association, John Parker, claimed that gardai were massaging crime figures on a daily basis.

Commissioner Martin Callinan then delivered a speech to conference yesterday evening.

Although both sides of the argument had been defused, tension was still evident after GRA members refused to applaud the commissioner.

He said he had anecdotal evidence from members who would go to investigate a burglary where a window was broken and while entry had been gained, nothing may have been stolen, so the crime would be categorised as criminal damage.

Mr Parker had claimed officers were instructed over the past two years about new ways to classify offences.

Under the protocol, some crimes – including burglary – are classed differently, while others are going unrecorded because they are not backed up by statements, he said. This was strongly refuted by Mr Callinan, who called on Mr Parker to clarify evidence of the claims if he had it.

But at the GRA's annual general meeting in Westport, Co Mayo, yesterday, the president and commissioner met and discussed the issue.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Mr Callinan said: "I sought clarification from the president of the association and he has provided clarification.

"He has indicated that he didn't have any information that indicates there was anything wrong in that context.

"I was relieved to hear that. I know for certain that when burglaries are reported, that they are recorded as burglaries.

"Again, just to reassure people, in cases where people are reporting a crime, they can rest assured that they are recorded and investigated.

"I am satisfied that all crimes reported and recorded and investigated.

"That is simply not true – if someone does not make a statement, crime is not investigated.

"I spoke to the president on the way in. I am satisfied he doesn't have any information or evidence, which was what I was worried about, that there might be something out there but I know for a fact that there isn't.

"I am satisfied that is the position now and we will move on from there."

kfoy@herald.ie


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