Cork gardaí investigated

Cork gardaí investigated
Generic Low ResGarda car crime traffic law

TWO rank and file gardaí in Cork are under investigation in relation to checkpoint figures.

The probe ordered by senior garda management is examining whether data on false traffic checkpoints was uploaded to the garda PULSE system.

Sources said the investigation is a standalone one which is not linked to the recent controversy surrounding phantom breath tests and fixed charge penalty notices.

The two gardaí have not been subjected to any disciplinary action as yet as the investigation is only underway with a short time.

Specific details in relation to the investigation are not being revealed by gardaí.

However, the investigation comes at a time of controversy surrounding the area of road traffic enforcement by gardaí following the recent revelation that up to 1 million breath tests had been exaggerated in garda figures and that 14,700 motorists who should have received on the spot fines for traffic offences were instead given a court conviction between 2011 and 2016.

The investigation was launched into the alleged false checkpoints around the same time as the breath tests and fixed charge notice information was revealed by gardaí – but sources said the issues are not connected.

The information was revealed by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of roads policing, Michael Finn, in March. He disclosed that the Medical Bureau calibrated 1,058,157 tests from 2011 to 2016 but that garda figures recorded 1,995,366 tests. Gardai have now taken the garda data off their website amid concerns about the discrepancy and an investigation is underway into how the figures were exaggerated.

During a meeting with the Oireachtas Justice Committee on March 30, Asst Comm Finn said the level of overestimation of breathalyser tests in Cork city between 2011 and 2016 was 133%.

At this week’s annual conference of the Garda Representative Association, rank and file gardaí claimed responsibility for the debacle lay with garda management.

However, both Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that responsibility for it had to be accepted by all gardaí.

Minister Fitzgerald told delegates that the recent breath test and fixed charge notices controversies were “failures of the entire organisation”.

And she said: “The force must accept collective responsibility and collectively resolve to ensure something like that never happens again.”

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