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An Garda Síochána publish Request for Tender (RfT) for Body Worn Cameras

An Garda Síochána has today (8th February 2024) published a Request for Tender (RfT) for the procurement of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) and Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) on EU Tenders website. European Dynamics - View CfT Workspace (etenders.gov.ie)

The RfT invites companies to tender for the provision of BWC and supporting DEMS for An Garda Síochána to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) for Body Worn Cameras in An Garda Síochána.

During this PoC period, the procured equipment will be introduced in the following locations, only:

  • DMR South Central, Pearse Street Garda Station, Kevin Street Garda Station
  • DMR North Central, Store Street Garda Station
  • Waterford Division, Waterford Garda Station
  • Limerick Garda Division, Henry Street Garda Station.

Body Worn Camera (BWC) refers to a small, lightweight camera that is visibly worn by a Garda.

The BWC records footage to its own internal encrypted storage, which is uploaded when the Garda docks the BWC in the Garda station.

BWC Footage is uploaded at the end of a shift so it can be used as evidence at court or is deleted after an agreed time period if it's not required as evidence.

BWC will be worn during the PoC in accordance with a DRAFT Code of Practice on the use of Body Worn Cameras by Garda Members. 

BWCs will be used operationally, during this PoC during Quarter 2, 2024.

This PoC will ultimately be replaced by a further and separate procurement process which is designed to provide BWC across the organisation to all Garda members and which will be informed by the learnings which have been achieved from the PoC.

Based on the experiences of other police services internationally who use BWCs, An Garda Síochána expects that the introduction of BWCs will:

  • improve safety for Gardaí
  • reduce complaints of Garda misconduct
  • save time in court preparation and appearances
  • lower costs for investigations and court appearances
  • improve ability to collect evidence for trial
  • enhance accountability
  • reduce challenges around arrests

All of the digital imagery collected by BWCs will be managed by a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS).

DEMS is an ICT software solution that will enable An Garda Síochána to collect, store, manage and analyse digital evidence from BWC footage.

Speaking today (8th February 2024), Chief Superintendent Derek Smart, said, “The publication of this Request for Tender brings An Garda Síochána a step closer to the reality of Body Worn Cameras being generally used by Gardaí.  This Proof of concept period provides an opportunity for An Garda Síochána to understand the capacity and capabilities of Body Worn Cameras and for the public to provide their feedback to An Garda Síochána prior to the organisation wide roll out of Body Worn Cameras. 

Andrew O Sullivan, Chief Information Officer for An Garda Síochána, commented,

“This is the next step in the procurement and roll out of Body Worn Cameras for An Garda Síochána continuing our ongoing commitment to providing our Gardaí with the most modern electronic tools to be effective in keeping them and people safe in today’s society.

The Proof of Concept phase is an essential element to introducing Body Worn Cameras, in a way which is clearly explained and understood by everybody in society, as a tool to assist members of An Garda Síochána in their day to day duties.”

Further details on An Garda Síochána Body Worn Cameras can be found here.

What is the policy basis for introduction of BWC/ DEMS?

Recommendation 12 of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (CoFPI).In their report The Future of Policing in Ireland, CoFPIrecommends that:

An Garda Síochána should develop a plan to deploy body worn cameras. There is a significant amount of experience in other jurisdictions which could be tapped for best practice. Modern policing organisations around the world have found that body cameras can help to improve front line capability with the accurate recording of incidents, expedite analysis, enhance situational awareness, and sometimes protect police from harm.”

(Chapter 21 Digital Innovation and Information Management; Recommendation 12 - page 79).

What is the legal basis for the introduction of BWC?

The Garda Síochána (Recording Devices) Act 2023 was signed into law on the 5th December 2023.

Are BWC GDPR compliant?

The introduction of BWCs will be in compliance with legislation and data captured will be stored and processed in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations, Law Enforcement Directive and Data retention laws outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018.