ALMOST 200 complaints against gardaí in Cork city were made by members of the public to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission last year.
According to the GSOC report for 2017, Cork and Limerick accounted for the highest number of complaints outside of Dublin.
196 complaints were received about gardaí in Cork city, with 39 relating to Cork West and 77 about gardaí in Cork North.
A total of 1,949 complaints were opened nationwide last year, up 10%, and containing 4,459 allegations. The three most common complaints were the conduct of investigations by gardaí, road policing incidents, and the conduct of arrests by gardaí.
The highest number of allegations was in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, followed by Limerick and Cork City.
While 1,330 cases were admitted for investigation, 586 complaints were deemed inadmissible, and 422 criminal investigations were opened. People can make a complaint if they are directly affected by what they believe is misconduct by a garda, if they are a direct witness to such behaviour, or on someone else’s behalf if they have that person’s consent.
Complaints are expected within 12 months of the incident.
However, GSOC says it may extend the time limit if “it considers that there are good reasons for doing so, for example if information leading you to complain only came to light in the last 12 months”.
After an investigation is completed by GSOC, the commission does not have the power to impose sanctions on gardaí. Instead, a file is submitted at that point to the Garda Commissioner who will then decide if garda regulations were breached, and if so, what action to take.
The report also outlined that there are plans to secure a new GSOC office in Cork this year.
The body had paid €22,500 for an office in the city last year.
The report added: “GSOC faced rent costs for its Cork office for the first time in 2017. Staff had previously been accommodated in a facility owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW) but moved into premises, rented in the short term, at the end of 2016. The cost is expected to increase further in 2018 with the signing of a lease for a new office.”