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Question

113. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will introduce the use of body cameras and car dash cameras within An Garda Síochána, given recent high profile incidents of their use in crime detection in the United States of America and in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44466/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote and has responsibility for the deployment of resources as determined by operational needs.
In that context I am advised by the Garda authorities that a total of fifteen body worn cameras were purchased by An Garda Síochána in 2012 for the purposes of evaluating body-worn camera technology as an alternative to the use of handheld camcorders. In 2014, senior Garda management decided that five of these units, which were used predominantly in training and evaluation exercises since their purchase, were to be deployed for the purpose of ensuring public order and the protection of Gardaí on duty.
Video captured by these devices is encrypted to prevent unauthorised access if the unit is lost or stolen and recordings can only be accessed by downloading to a specific secure location on the Garda IT network. The use of these devices by An Garda Síochána is governed by Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 and the Garda Code of Practice established under Section 13 of the Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2003.
In respect of the Deputy's query concerning the use of dash cams, I have asked the Garda authorities for the information requested and I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the information is to hand.