Traveller Children And PULSE



You may recall a post from last October in which we posted the letter, above, Garda John Wilson wrote to his senior management in October 2011.

Mr Wilson alleged that many Traveller babies – one as young as 16 days old – had their names put on the PULSE system, with each child getting a criminal intelligence PULSE number.

Mr Wilson claimed it could happen if a Garda stopped a car driven by a Traveller, and if there were children present in the car, those children’s names would be placed on PULSE.

Mr Wilson said gardaí were encouraged to do this by senior gardaí.

At the time of posting last October, Mr Wilson had yet to receive a reply from Garda management.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter replied to written questions put to him on the matter by United Left Alliance TD, Clare Daly and Sinn Féin TD, Padraig MacLochlainn, on Tuesday.

Clare Daly: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if a PULSE file was created on a Traveller child when that child was 16 days old; and was this child ascribed a criminal intelligence number separate from a parent or guardian.

Padraig MacLochlainn: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he has taken to confirm whether Traveller children or adults are being assigned separate criminal intelligence PULSE numbers without having committed any criminal conduct; and the action he will take regarding same.

Padraig MacLochlainn: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has established with the Garda Commissioner the veracity of the allegations that 40 Traveller families were entered on the Garda PULSE system, including a baby of 16 days old; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter took the three questions together.

Alan Shatter: “The management of the PULSE system is an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner. While An Garda Síochána does not comment on individual cases, I am informed by the Commissioner that PULSE does not solely capture information on offenders, but is also used to store information on Garda interactions with individuals, whether adults or children, such as victims of crime, persons injured in road traffic accidents and child welfare incidents.
All persons are subject to the same PULSE recording policy and procedures.
I have also been assured by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda Síochána does not engage in ethnic profiling, and specifically that it does not engage in data gathering or data mining based upon discriminatory profiling in respect of race, colour, language, religion, nationality, national or ethnic origin, ethnicity or membership of the Traveller community.”


Transcript from

Previously: Early Profiling

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