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Legislation to provide gardaí with body-worn cameras passes

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the new legislation will also give gardai greater access to CCTV.

LEGISLATION TO ALLOW for the wearing of body-worn cameras by gardaí has been passed and will now go to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law. 

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the legislation will also to give gardaí greater access to CCTV.

She said it puts An Garda Síochána on a “clear path” to begin rolling out body-cameras for frontline officers from next year, with gardaí in Dublin city centre having access to bodycams from next spring.

Speaking less than a week after serious rioting in Dublin city centre, McEntee also welcomed announcements by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris earlier today about new equipment. 

These includes providing Tasers to public order units, stronger incapacitating spray for all gardai, more and improved public order equipment and vehicles, more data scientists to support the analysis of evidential material and the accelerated expansion of the Garda Dog Unit.

McEntee said the government is committed to ensuring gardaí has the resources, equipment and the technology necessary to build stronger, safer communities.

“This includes ensuring that gardai have body worn cameras, which has been a priority of mine for some time,” she said.

“The shocking scenes we witnessed last Thursday night show how crucial bodycams, as well as tools such as Facial Recognition Technology, are to protecting gardai 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.”

Author
Press Association