Home > Report of the Garda Siochana Inspectorate. Crime investigation.

Garda Inspectorate. (2014) Report of the Garda Siochana Inspectorate. Crime investigation. Dublin: Garda Inspectorate.

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Over two years of research including, policy review, field inspections and focus group sessions the Inspectorate has examined the Garda Síochána’s crime investigation practices and informed this inspection. The Inspectorate has also described in detail, the processes involved in the everyday investigation of crime in Ireland, in order to show the significant challenges and complex inter-relationships involved in these processes.

Part 1 Crime Prevention
Part 2 Divisional Policing
Part 3 First Response
Part 4 Incident Recording
Part 5 Crime Management
Part 6 Investigating Crime
Part 7 The Victims Experience
Part 8 Intelligence Led Policing
Part 9 Investigation and Detention of Suspects
Part 10 Offender Management
Part 11 Detecting and Prosecuting Crime
Addendum to Crime Investigation Report: Guerin Report

Examples of drug or alcohol related findings
P.36 Victims of crime who have consumed alcohol may be sent away, with the onus on the victim to contact the gardaí later if they want to report a crime; (see also p.337 & 351)
P.38 In other jurisdictions police services drug test people arrested for specific crimes;
P.46 Divisions and districts have conducted audits of drug cases and found large numbers of cases where drugs have been seized and no proceedings have been taken; • There is no adult caution system for possession of drugs;
P.66 The Inspectorate recommends that the Garda Síochána provides clarity about the crime investigation role of divisional specialist units, such as drugs and other tasking units, traffic units and community policing units. (Medium term).
P.73 Develop a national drugs register to ensure consistent inventory and data entry by all drugs units;
Consider mandatory drug testing of persons detained for “trigger offences” including but not limited to burglary and robbery;
P.77 The Inspectorate recommends that the Garda Síochána engages key partner agencies to develop an effective drug arrest referral scheme for those detained in garda stations. (Medium term).
P.79 The Inspectorate recommends that the Department of Justice and Equality convene a working group to consider extending the legislation governing the adult cautioning scheme to include possession of drugs and other suitable offences. (Medium term).
P.93 Develop an early arrest referral scheme for those prolific offenders who are drug users.
P.104 Whilst drug offences are not one of the main crimes that feature in this report, the Inspectorate recognises that many of the volume crimes committed are carried out by those who may commit crime to fuel a drug habit. As part of this report, the Inspectorate will specifically look at that category of offender and identify opportunities to divert them away from crime. The Inspectorate examined cases of possession of drugs and the outcomes of those cases.
P.108 Develop a divisional approach for the deployment of specialist units i.e. drugs units, traffic and community policing;
P.118 & 119 Deployment of Gardaí in operational divisions chart
P.177 Garda PULSE records can be changed by altering the spelling of a person’s name or a person’s date of birth. Many reasons for changing data were offered, including that PULSE intelligence records cannot be deleted but can be changed to remove the association of that intelligence from an individual. Specific examples were provided when young people are stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The association of a young person stopped by a drug unit, albeit if no drugs were found, will remain on garda records. This can have serious connotations for the person’s records on the PULSE system.
P.184 Where a crime has taken place, but a victim refuses to give a statement, it can be recorded in Attention and Complaints; • Most worrying, that cases of rape, where victims have consumed alcohol, can be placed into this category, until a victim’s statement is obtained.
P.187 Currently in Ireland, there is no provision under stop and search powers to search people who may be in possession of stolen property. Consequently, this results in stop and searches being conducted under the Misuse of Drugs Act legislation. The Inspectorate has received negative feedback from within the Garda Síochána at all ranks about the use of stop and search, and that in many cases the power under the Misuse of Drugs Act is used in the absence of other powers. When a search is conducted under this legislation in Ireland, and no drugs are found, it is still recorded on PULSE and classified as a search under the Drugs Act. Each division has a drugs unit and further inference is often drawn from searches conducted by drugs unit members. If someone is stopped by the gardaí, an inference might be drawn from the data recorded arising from a previous search. Clearly, a person not found with any stolen property or drugs should not be stigmatised or otherwise disadvantaged in the future. The Inspectorate is aware that the new Vetting Act will provide some safeguards for what is and what is not disclosed in the future.
P.236 Local Specialist Units - A number of local specialist units operate in the divisions visited. All divisions outside of the DMR and all districts within the DMR have dedicated drugs units. These units conduct proactive operations based on local intelligence and investigate crimes that arise from their activity. The main focus of drugs units is on more serious drug offences and they have a clear remit to reduce drugs possession and the supply of drugs.4 In some divisions, principally in the DMR, drug units are also used on intelligence led operations aimed at targeting prolific burglary offenders who commit crime to sustain their drug addiction. The Inspectorate viewed these deployments as good use of resources to tackle associated crimes. Investigations by drugs units are not usually allocated to them but are self generated, arising from operations and arrests for drug offences.
P.399 Integrated offender management – One of the key aims of IOM is to break the cycle of persistent or prolific offending, particularly where drug or alcohol addiction is a factor in offending behaviour.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
489 p.
Garda Inspectorate
Corporate Creators
Garda Inspectorate
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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