Inspectorate Report findings confirm need for
‘track-my-crime’ system – Senator Mullen
‘Sinn Féin needs to update its attitude to Gardaí’, Mullen tells Seanad
The failures identified in the Garda Inspectorate report are yet more evidence of the need for an online track-my-crime system to assist victims of crime, Senator Rónán Mullen told the Seanad today.
“Systematic failures and poor management practices have been identified in the Report,” Senator Mullen said. “The Report highlights an inconsistent approach to updating victims of crimes and a lack of IT and equipment to support the investigation of crime,” Senator Mullen said.
“This confirms the urgent need for a “track-my-crime” online system to allow victims of crime to access information about how their cases are being managed,” he said.
Senator Mullen recently asked the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD, to introduce an online information system similar to that being operated by several police constabularies in the UK. “Victims of crime often feel left out in the cold when it comes to the Garda investigations,” Senator Mullen says. “The Inspectorate Report found that many victims said they were not kept up-to-date with developments in their case and found it extremely difficult to contact their investigating officer.”
Senator Mullen cited the positive experience in the UK after the introduction of an online tracking and information system for victims of crime: “The website is being used by police constabularies in Kent, Northampton and other parts of the country. An online service would satisfy the need of many crime victims here for an update on the status of their police investigation.”
Senator Mullen has also criticised Sinn Fein’s failure to support rank-and-file Gardaí and its suggestion that the Gardaí are ‘not fit for purpose’. He warned against two extreme responses to the Inspectorate Report. Some of the mainstream political parties were in ‘a blind rush’ to the defence of the Garda Síochána, as though any criticism was inappropriate. “Just as wrong, however, is the attitude of Sinn Féin in describing the Garda Síochána as ‘not fit for purpose’. Negativity towards the police may have been understandable in the context of the North, but there is no basis for similar criticism in the South because the Gardaí do not stand accused of bias against any particular section of the community. The Sinn Féin position is inconsistent with the role the party now seeks to play in Irish politics. They need to update their attitudes,” Mullen said.