Gardai are implementing a new computer data system to detect repeat offenders involved in insurance fraud, according to the Garda Commissioner.
Drew Harris was speaking at a Joint Policing Committee in Cork when the issue of insurance fraud was raised by Cllr Paul Hayes (SF).
The Cork county councillor said insurance fraud is a huge issue for people and one that needs to be tackled.
“Families and gangs are going around and making a living off it,” he added.
Cllr Hayes called for a dedicated garda fraud unit to be established to tackle the issue and said he has tried to contact the Department of Justice about it.
In response, Commissioner Harris said that fraud is an issue that the gardaí are taking very seriously.
He said that, after working with the Economic Crime Bureau, the gardaí have decided to establish an information technology element to its investigation management system to detect repeat insurance fraud offenders and crack down on the issue.
The commissioner explained that the IT database will allow gardaí to search for and root out repeat offenders, particularly in the case of car accidents or collisions.
“We are introducing information technology around an investigation management system and that’s being rolled out right across the country,” he said.
“The investigation management system will allow garda to search for suspect vehicles, the ones that are appearing three or four times in rear-end shunts or similar situation.
“We’re going to find the individuals who are making numerous claims right across the country through the analysis of the data we have,” added Commissioner Harris.
“The more we can get onto our systems, where that data is searchable and can be worked with, the better.
“This is a huge problem and it’s certainly not something we’re ignoring.” Commissioner Harris also said the public have a vital role to play in terms of reporting people they suspect of engaging in insurance fraud to the gardaí.
He also advised people to purchase front and rear dash cams for their cars to ensure that if they are the victim of attempted insurance fraud, they can prove they were not at fault.