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GSOC received 2,027 complaints last year

The Garda watchdog also opened three investigations itself.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE GARDA WATCHDOG handled 2,027 complaints, encompassing 5,299 allegations of misconduct against members of An Garda Siochana in 2013.

The figures are outlined in the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) annual report, which was released today.

Multiple allegations can be handled in a single complaint.

Abuse of authority was the most common complaint made, accounting for 34% of complaints.

Neglect of duty (27%), non-fatal offences (14%) and discourtesy (11%) were the next three most common complaints.

The commission closed 2,072 cases, containing 5,883 allegations in 2013, the report says.

Of these:

  • Two complaints led to a warning for a guard
  • Two led to a reprimand
  • Five led to a fine
  • 17 led to cautions
  • 18 were referred to the DPP and a prosecution directed
  • 19 led to pay being docked
  • 24 went to the DPP and were not prosecuted
  • 24 were informally resolved
  • 49 led to legal advice
  • In 124 cases, the complainant was non-cooperative
  • In 220 no misbehaviour was found
  • 307 were withdrawn
  • 1,176 were found to have not breached discipline
  • 1,612 were inadmissable
  • 2,277 were not deemed worthy of further investigation

The Garda Commisioner referred 41 cases, seven in Donegal, to GSOC in 2013, while the watchdog opened three investigations into public interest cases itself.

These related to the security concerns at GSOC, an investigation into whether gardai had committed offences while giving evidence in court and one into alleged corruption by a member of the force.

In a survey on opinions of GSOC, 69% of the public said that they felt it was independent and just 13% felt that GSOC was inefficient.

Read: GSOC will be allowed to investigate the Garda Commissioner under new reforms

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