Minister for Justice Helen McEntee publishes Garda Inspectorate report Delivering Custody Services – A Rights-Based Review of the Treatment, Safety and Wellbeing of Persons in Custody in Garda Síochána Stations
·Report of the Garda Inspectorate is an important contribution to ensuring the highest standards of treatment and safety are afforded to people in Garda custody
·The Garda Síochána (Powers) Bill will address many of the recommendations directed at the Department of Justice
·The Report has been referred to the Garda Commissioner for detailed consideration and a full response to each recommendation
·An implementation plan will be developed and published
24 February 2022
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee T.D. has today published the report of the Garda Inspectorate, Delivering Custody Services – A Rights-Based Review of the Treatment, Safety and Wellbeing of Persons in Custody in Garda Síochána Stations.
The purpose of the inspection was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the custody arrangements operated by An Garda Síochána with the aim of examining the standard of treatment, safety and wellbeing provided to those in custody.
Commenting on the report, the Minister said:
“I would like to thank the Garda Inspectorate for their thoroughness and dedication in producing this valuable and informative report. It is a detailed report and makes an important contribution to ensuring that people in custody are treated with the respect and dignity to which they are entitled, while highlighting where improvements can be made for the benefit of people in custody and for An Garda Síochána”.
In total the report makes forty one recommendations, the majority of which are actions for An Garda Síochána. Fourteen recommendations are actions for the Department of Justice.
Commenting on these recommendations Minister McEntee said:
“I welcome the recommendations for my Department, the majority of which relate to legislative reform. I am pleased that work is already underway on drafting the Garda Síochána (Powers) Bill which will set out and enhance the rights of persons in Garda custody including the right to rest, the right to medical attention and the right of access to a lawyer. The Bill will also provide for special measures for people in custody who are children and who may have impaired capacity. The recommendations in the Garda Inspectorate report will be fully considered as part of the ongoing work on this important piece of legislation”.
The report identifies the scope for reforming and enhancing how An Garda Síochána deals with people in custody across each of the areas looked at in this Inspection. These areas examined include the Legal Framework, Strategy, Governance and Accountability, Protection of Rights, Care and Treatment of Persons in Custody, the Roles of Gaoler/ Member in Charge, Local Supervision and Management as well as other Custody-related Powers and Safeguards.
The report also recommends that further improvements be made to the physical standard of custody facilities.
Minister McEntee said:
“Substantial investment has already been provided under the Garda Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021 for a range of capital works including enhancing custody management facilities. The Inspectorate highlights further infrastructure improvements that can be made and these will be considered as part of the implementation process”.
The Department of Justice has written to the Garda Commissioner to ask him to outline how he plans to progress the recommendations in the report for action by An Garda Síochána. The Department will incorporate the Commissioner’s views into a comprehensive implementation plan on the report’s recommendations.
Note for Editors
The purpose of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate (GSI) is to ensure that the resources available to An Garda Síochána (AGS) are used efficiently and effectively. This is achieved by carrying out inspections and measuring performance by reference to the best standards of comparable police services.
This report Delivering Custody Services is a self-initiated inspection conducted by the Garda Inspectorate and was selected as a topic for inspection following consultations with a number of key stakeholders including AGS, the Policing Authority and the Department of Justice.
The Report makes 41 recommendations of which 27 are directed at AGS and 14 at the Department of Justice.
The full report including executive summary and detailed recommendations can be found at Delivering Custody Services – Garda Síochána Inspectorate (gsinsp.ie)