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Garda division breath test figures

It has emerged that Garda breath tests in the Roscommon Longford division were overstated by 75% in an eight year period.

The figures were provided by the Policing Authority following a review undertaken by Crowe Horwath into the overstatement by the Garda Síochána nationally of the number of mandatory intoxicant tests (MIT) carried out at checkpoints over a number of years.

The figures show that 48,903 Drager Count breath tests were carried out by Gardai in the Roscommon Longford Division during the period June 2009 to April 2017.

The report goes on to indicate that the Garda Pulse system for the same period shows 85,562 tests, a difference of 36,659 or 75%.

In neighbouring Sligo Leitrim Division the difference was 76% while the Western region average was 71%.

Commenting on the figures, Policing Authority Chairperson, Josephine Feehily, said:

“The Report by Crowe Horwath adds very useful analysis and a broad scope of understanding in relation to what happened regarding the breath test and fixed charge notice issues. While a range of explanations have been advanced, inadequate supervision and poor performance management are the heart of these matters. These cannot be explained away simply by issues relating to lack of training and resources. Unfortunately, the Authority cannot offer an assurance to the community that these problems could not recur, although we hope that they won’t.
The Authority in its commentary on the Report has advised that the Garda Commissioner must fully implement a meaningful performance management system for both Garda members and civilian staff so that there is a framework for supervision, for learning, for the delivery of policing plans and ensuring accountability of all his staff. This would be a positive outcome to a sorry chapter for the Garda Síochána that has damaged public confidence in a very tangible way.
From the outset, in its first remarks on these matters the Authority has positioned these issues in the context of integrity and culture. We encourage all Garda members and staff to embrace and live the Code of Ethics for the Garda Síochána which was launched by the Authority in January 2017.”

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