A planned online portal for uploading footage of road traffic offences will require people to make statements at Garda stations.
This is unlike the systems used in most of the UK which streamlines the reporting process by allowing members of the public to make statements online when uploading the footage. The footage is then reviewed, usually by specialised road traffic officers.
The UK portals allow for reporting of offences such as close passing bicycles, careless driving, and driving while holding a mobile phone.
The system in Ireland however will require members of the public to attend a Garda station where statements are written by hand, taking up extra Garda time. As recently reported, it is also delayed until at least 2025.
The Garda portal is being phrased as “accept video footage from the public will be via an online portal” and in the Government’s Road Safety Strategy it is phrased as an “online portal for road users to upload footage of road traffic offences which could assist in prosecution”.
Sources confirmed to IrishCycle.com that the Garda system will not allow people to make statements online.
The Garda Press Office said it was required to accept evidence in a “safe manner, protecting the evidential value of the images/ video and complying with legal frameworks” and officers need to arrange “for direct in-person download of the footage and an accompanying statement of complaint by the complainant/ witness”, while Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment.
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A spokesperson at the Garda Press Office said: “Action 29 Ireland’s Government Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 203 provides that An Garda Síochána ‘Explore the potential of an online portal for road users to upload footage of road traffic offences which could assist in prosecution.’”
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“An Garda Síochána also regularly makes public appeals for members of the public with digital imagery, dashcam, GoPro footage of incidents. An Garda Síochána on a daily basis legally obtain CCTV footage from premises and private citizens across the country. A modern legal platform to manage these demands is being actively developed,” the spokesperson said.
The Garda Press Office said that the force would shortly announce further details of its Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) which will allow for the transfer of third-party video to An Garda Síochána in a “safe manner, protecting the evidential value of the images/ video and complying with legal frameworks.”
The spokesperson said: “A common misconception is that a member of An Garda Síochána can provide an unsolicited, unverified digital image in court as evidence. This is not possible. Where An Garda Síochána, or any agency, intends to use digital image for a prosecution, An Garda Síochána must in the first instance be able to prove the veracity of the digital image. Therefore An Garda Síochána cannot accept unsolicited images.”
They continued: “However An Garda Síochána should engage with the complainant/ witness and endeavour to prove the veracity of the footage, by arranging for direct in-person download of the footage and an accompanying statement of complaint by the complainant/ witness. The third party must be available to attend in court may be required to prove the digital image. Each complaint/ investigation is individual and is progressed on an individual basis.”