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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

More people have been complaining about gardaí this year

GSOC said time taken to receive information requested from the Garda Síochána in relation to investigations has “improved significantly”.

FIGURES RELEASED BY the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) today shows more people across the country have been complaining about gardaí in the first nine months of this year than last year.

Complaints to GSOC are up 14% from January to Semptember – a total of 1,725 so far. In the same period last year, there were 1,508 complaints made to the Ombudsman.

Calls to the lo-call number have also increased by 23% year-on-year, though GSOC said 99% of calls were still answered within 60 seconds.

It is thought that an increased level of public awareness of GSOC is the major cause of this increase in uptake of the service.

“We are happy to see increased numbers of members of the public availing of GSOC’s service – we believe this is a vote of confidence in our effectiveness in resolving complaints and improving police accountability, and look forward to further bolstering this confidence with continuing improvements in results,” commented Simon O’Brien, Chairman of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

So far this year, almost 1,700 cases have been closed – an increase of 11% – and time taken to close cases has also been reduced. Time taken to close disciplinary procedures is somewhat higher, though GSOC said this is because of targeted efforts being made to close old cases, “the very long durations of which bring the median up”.

Time taken to receive information requested from the Garda Síochána in relation to investigations has “improved significantly” in 2014 over previous years, according to the Ombudsman, with 81% of requests for documents from January – September 2014 being responded to within 30 days.

Read: Justice committee calls for single Garda Ombudsman>

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