1420. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Justice if it is official policy that Garda traffic watch do not inform persons calling the service of PULSE numbers for their complaints; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19113/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will appreciate, the administration of the traffic watch phone line is a matter for An Garda Síochána and I, as Minister, have no role in this matter.
Traffic Watch is a partnership approach to reducing the number of road collisions and fatalities. It brings road users, An Garda Síochána, the National Roads Authority and the Road Safety Authority together in a united and sustained effort to improve safety on our roads.
Members of the public can report traffic-related incidents using the Traffic Watch lo-call number 1890 205 805. These calls are answered and logged by civilian personnel at the Garda Information Services Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The incident is then forwarded to the relevant District Officer (Superintendent) for investigation.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the District Officer then appoints a member of An Garda Síochána to investigate the Traffic Watch complaint. The investigating member makes contact with the complainant to:-
- Establish the complainant's version of events
- Establish if there are other witnesses to the alleged incident
- Discuss the possible actions available, including if the complainant wishes the matter to go Court or have the incident dealt with by way of caution, advice or guidance.
If the complainant wishes to go to Court, a written statement is taken, and if not (and an offence has been disclosed), arrangements are made to have the matter dealt with by way of caution, advice or guidance.
Where an offence is believed to have been disclosed and the complainant wishes to go to Court, a file is submitted to the District Officer who will decide what action, if any, is to be taken. In all instances, the complainant should be notified of the outcome of his or her complaint.
Matters reported to Traffic Watch by members of the public are inputted into the Garda PULSE system by the Garda Information Services Centre. I am informed that the Garda Information Services Centre does not provide a PULSE incident number to a member of the public who rings the Traffic Watch Service. I am further informed that the PULSE incident is progressed at the station in the location where the offence is alleged to have occurred. The PULSE incident number is available to the investigating member to disclose if appropriate.