A Garda checkpoint
“An investigation into how almost a million false breath tests were recorded on An Garda Síochána computer systems has discovered another 500,000 false tests that were also recorded but not carried out.
“A report by the Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan which has yet to be published has found that some gardaí were making up the figures and in some cases were exaggerating them by as much as 300%.
“The report also identified systems and IT failures, a misinterpretation of policy, and failures of governance and oversight as contributory issues.
“The Assistant Commissioner has concluded that the controversy reflects poorly on the professionalism of the organisation and has undermined public confidence in the police service.
“A separate report into how almost 15,000 motorists were convicted in error over fixed charge penalty fines has also identified systems failures and a lack of understanding among gardaí as to how the system worked.
“The reports have been sent to the Minister for Justice, who is due to brief the Cabinet at its meeting this morning and expected to issue a statement afterwards.”
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
The broadcaster’s Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds told presenter Audrey Carville that the differences between the number of tests said to be recorded and actually recorded varied across the country.
For example, he said, in Dublin, the difference was at least 68%; in the South East, the exaggerations were over 153%; in Wexford it was 5% and in Dublin West it was 495%.
During his report, Mr Reynolds also said:
“Now perhaps the most disturbing finding is the acknowledgement in the report that individual gardai were simply making up the figures and that in some cases there was gross exaggeration.”
“And it gives some case histories.”
“For example, the report highlights an incident where a garda contacts the centre in Castlebar [Co Mayo] to report a figure from a mandatory alcohol checkpoint. And when he’s asked for that figure, how many checks he’s conducted, he hesitates, he hums and haws and he first says ’30’.”
“Then he changes that figure to 50, before finally telling the operator to put him down for 90. So that increase, from the original claim of 30 tests, to 90, in the course of a phone call is, in effect, a 300% increase.”
Investigation into false garda breath tests finds further 500,000 false tests (RTE)
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Previously: A Breathtaking Timeline
The Fake Numbers Game