OVER 2,000 complaints were made by members of the public to the Garda Ombudsman Commission last year.
One garda was convicted and another 146 were disciplined following the complaints, according to the commission annual report which was published today.
The Garda Commissioner referred 104 incidents to the Commission (GSOC) which led to two investigations. These were cases where the Commissioner formed the view that the conduct of a garda may have resulted in death or serious injury.
Sixteen of these cases involved fatalities. Six occurred as a result of road traffic incidents, one related to someone in garda custody and eight were following custody or contact with the gardai. Road traffic incidents resulted in 51pc of the referrals. A further 35pc related to garda pursuit, observations or attempt to stop a vehicle driven by a member of the public.
In the case of public complaints, abuse of authority accounted for 26pc of the allegations against members of the force while 25pc related to neglect of duty, 18pc to discourtesy and 15pc to non-fatal offences against the person.
Commission member Carmel Foley said she was satisfied at the 17pc increase in public confidence in the impartiality of the Commission which was “a key element in ensuring that the atmosphere exists in which people who have issues which should be brought forward feel comfortable doing so.”
Meanwhile the Garda Annual Report for 2009 was also released today. The report gives an overview of the work of the Force in communities across the country.
Commisioner Fachtna Murphy highlighted the “sustained and co-ordinated focus on drugs in our society” by gardai, which he said had “yielded significant seizures and arrests by local and national units during 2009.
“ In 2010, I am determined that Gardaí working locally in our communities, in partnership with national units, will continue their efforts towards tackling the supply reduction side.
“We will protect the young and vulnerable, and the community as a whole, from the effects of this reprehensible activity.” he pledged.