21 serving or retired gardaí face further investigation over penalty points

Some 21 serving or retired gardaí are to be subject to further investigation in relation to the cancellation of penalty points.

21 serving or retired gardaí face further investigation over penalty points

They include two gardaí who terminated points after the introduction of strict rules by Garda commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan last June.

The 21 members are implicated in a total of 114 cancellations that an internal Garda inquiry said require deeper examination.

GSOC will now examine two reports by the Garda Professional Standards Unit. The 118-page Volume One, was published yesterday.

The probe was conducted following fresh allegations by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe of continuing widespread abuse.

GSOC will send files to the DPP if it finds any evidence of fraud, while it will recommend disciplinary proceedings be taken by the commissioner if it uncovers breaches of discipline.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said there was “no hiding place” for gardaí or civilians who abuse the system, adding “if there has been fraud, clearly people will be subject to an investigation”.

Ms O’Sullivan said breaches of policy were “taken very seriously” and said there were mechanisms in place to deal with that, but added that she would await the findings of the GSOC investigation.

Separately, GSOC will also investigate gardaí who benefited from multiple penalty point cancellations.

In addition, a new enforcement unit will investigate members of the public who benefited from multiple cancellations or who managed to repeatedly avoid penalty points through failures in the postal system.

It comes as the Cabinet has appointed a judge to oversee the operation of penalty points. In addition, the DPP will screen requests from gardaí for cancellations if they argue they were using their private vehicles for emergency police duties.

The report found:

nOf 667 cancellation files examined, 114 (17%) required further examination;

nAn additional 76 (11%) terminations were described as “lenient” but were not in breach of policy;

nA further 97 (15%) were “technical breaches” of policy and 79 (12%) were “procedural issues”;

n“No apparent issues” in 301 (45%) of cases;

n54 of the 667 cancellations happened after the regime introduced last June — seven (13%) of which require further examination.

The report said Sgt McCabe gave details of 115 people, including 31 gardaí, who received a total of 289 cancellations. The inquiry found 38% of cases warranted further investigation, noting a further 25% were “lenient” decisions. It said there were no apparent issues in 22% of the cases.

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