Sinn Fein Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has today called on the Minister for Justice to include a standardisation of dashcam technology as part of the upcoming Garda Digital Recording Bill. His comments come as cabinet is due to see details of an upcoming bill which will legislate for the use of body camera technology for members of An Garda Síochána.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:
“Many policing services across Europe have had body cam technology in use for the last decade. Fine Gael have held the justice portfolio for the same length of time, but they have only now moved to introduce this technology. This is despite representatives of Garda members continually raising the need for this technology.
“As part of the upcoming bill, I am hopeful the Minister and the wider government will support the introduction of dash cameras.
“Time and again we hear calls for dash cam footage to be shared with Gardaí as part of an investigation. However this is a technology that isn’t used in the majority of Garda vehicles.
“I’m aware that it is installed in some of the Traffic Corp vehicles, however it needs to become something that is standard in all Garda vehicles going forward. As with body cam technology, it is important that dash cam technology would also be governed appropriately.
“This bill is the opportunity to do so, and I am considering putting in an amendment to the upcoming bill if required.
“As with body cams, it is important that robust regulation is in place for both the protection of the public and the Gardaí using dash cams during the course of their duties. Restrictions on how the devices are used, and the protection of data captured on them, must be in place alongside this legislation.
“There is a chance here to include another deterrent for those wanting to put Gardai in harms way and government must offer every protection possible to overstretched Garda members.
“It is vital that the Gardaí are equipped with the appropriate resources to protect communities and keep them safe.”