Gardaí in Limerick are piloting new technology which allows them to transmit footage of live road traffic operations back to Garda Headquarters in Dublin.
The footage is transmitted via a mobile phone app and/or a monitor attached to a Garda motorbike which is being used by the roads policing unit at Henry Street Garda Station.
It will improve the force’s capabilities to detect and prosecute criminals, sources said, but it will require funding from the Department of Justice to roll it out nationwide. The system allows Gardaí to transmit “real time” footage of high-speed road pursuits of criminals, as well as live footage from Garda checkpoints.
Garda Bryan Duddy, who has been using the system, described it as an “exciting” departure for the force.
“I haven’t had a (pursuit) yet to test the system out, but the system is there, and it can be viewed in Dublin, or by (other districts) that have the (system).”
Garda sources said it should help senior Gardai to make decisions in real time such as when to deploy the Garda helicopter to a specific area, or closing off roads/deploying stingers during Garda road pursuits.
“In the event that I was in a chase, for my own benefit, and I suppose for the people that might be in a chase, there is actual video footage of the chase going on,” Gda Duddy said. Garda management are teasing out the finer details of the technology.
A Garda spokesman said: “The camera is a live/real time system, which is not recorded or stored. Therefore, it could not be used as evidence.”
The technology also includes ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology, which can check eight vehicle license plates every second.
It sends an alert to a member’s mobile phone or to a monitor on a garda motorbike informing the member of vehicles that are not insured, not taxed, no NCT, as well as showing up garda and PSNI vehicle alerts.