New legislation to provide Gardaí with body-worn cameras has been passed.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has welcomed the passage of key legislation to provide An Garda Síochána with these body-worn cameras.
The bodycams will give Gardaí greater access to CCTV and to provide for community CCTV.
Minister McEntee revealed that the legislation will put An Garda Síochána on a ‘clear path to begin rolling out bodycams on frontline Gardaí from next year’.
Gardaí in Dublin City Centre will be provided bodycams from next spring.
Other announcements were made by Commissioner Harris and the senior leadership team of An Garda Síochána to state that there will be an expansion of other measures including the provision of stronger incapacitating spray for all Gardaí; the provision of tasers to public order units, subject to training; and more public order training for Gardaí.
There will also be more and improved public order equipment and vehicles; more Garda data scientists to support the analysis of evidential material; the purchase of hand held video cameras for public order units; and the further expansion of public order tactics.
Speaking about the rollout of bodycams in the coming year, Minister McEntee said, “The Government is committed to ensuring An Garda Síochána have the resources, the equipment and the technology necessary to build stronger, safer communities”.
“This includes ensuring that Gardaí have body worn cameras, which has been a priority of mind for some time”.
The Minister continued by mentioning the riots that broke out last week in Dublin city centre. She stated, “The shocking scenes we witnessed last Thursday night show how crucial bodycams, as well as tools such as Facial Recognition Technology, are to protecting Gardaí and help bring criminals to justice”.
“These tough new laws will help An Garda Síochána identify perpetrators and gather evidence directly. It will help them deal with public order and with tackling incitement by the far right”.
“But there will also be other benefits this Bill - greater access to Automatic Number Plate Recognition will help with longer term investigations, and reduce the time it takes to collate evidence and track suspects”.