Garda technical bureau to join ‘elite European group’

The Garda Technical Bureau can now share its expertise and forensic results across Europe — aiding in the investigation of serious crime and terrorism.

The achievement of the bureau means that An Garda Síochána now joins an “elite group” of police organisations in the EU.

Bureau chief Detective Superintendent John Nolan said it was “hugely important” as the bureau could now share forensic data — from ballistics to fingerprints — with sister agencies in the EU.

The awarding of the accreditation by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) means that evidence gathered and analysed by the bureau’s laboratories meet expert levels and are acceptable to police and justice systems across the EU.

“It’s quite an elite group,” said Adrienne Duff, director of the Irish National Accreditation Board, which carried out the examination using a team of international assessors. “There’s not many police forces that have attained this accreditation within the EU.”

Dr Duff handed the ISO certification to Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan yesterday. The accreditation applies to three specialist laboratories: Fingerprints, ballistics, and documents and handwriting.

Det Supt Nolan said it was a “momentous” day for the Technical Bureau, which is known throughout Ireland for its presence at crime scenes with its officers dressed in white suits.

As well as the gathering of evidence from crime scenes, they are responsible for the scientific analysis, and preservation, of evidence.

“It’s hugely important, because we can share our experience, our expertise, and actually our results,” said Det Supt Nolan.

“By reaching this standard it means our justice system, the UK or the French, are satisfied with the evidence we’re going to provide, if need be, to them.”

He said the bureau’s fingerprint laboratory was at the “forefront” of EU agencies.

Commissioner O’Sullivan said it was a “milestone” for An Garda Síochána and that “a very small number of police bureaus have this accreditation”.


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