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Pilot phase of Body Worn Cameras for frontline members of An Garda Síochána has commenced - Friday, 31st May 2024

Issue Date: 31st May 2024

An Garda Síochána has today launched the first phase of its ‘Proof of Concept’ for Body Worn Cameras as well as the supporting Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS).
The Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris was joined at Store Street Garda Station this morning by the Taoiseach, Simon Harris T.D and the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee T.D to launch the pilot phase.

As recommended in the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland report, "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.”

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

The Garda Síochána (Recording Devices) Act 2023 (Code of Practice) Order 2024 was recently signed by the Minister for Justice. An Garda Síochána has been working to introduce Body Worn Cameras for members in accordance with this Code of Practice.

An Garda Síochána is undertaking three phased introductions as part of its proof of concepts stage. Each phase involves the use of a range of Body Worn Cameras by frontline Gardaí in specific locations nationwide. The three Proof of Concept phases will test the technical aspects of each camera, how they will be used operationally in addition to the training, Code of Practice and governance of their use.

Phase one of these three phased introductions has now commenced in Dublin. There are currently 100 frontline Gardaí attached to Pearse Street Garda Station, Kevin Street Garda Station and Store Street Garda Station fully trained in the use of Body Worn Cameras, and the cameras are now both visible on their uniforms and in use while on-duty.

It is anticipated that by the end of June, 350-400 frontline Gardaí in Dublin will be fully trained and have the cameras in use.

An Garda Síochána continues to engage with stakeholders and the communities it serves as it develops its Codes of Practice and in advance of the full deployment of Body Worn Cameras.

At the launch, Commissioner Harris said, "From today Gardaí in three Dublin stations – Store Street, Pearse Street and Kevin Street - will begin using Body Worn Cameras, with two other stations in Limerick and Waterford cities to follow in the coming months. The ability of An Garda Síochána to securely acquire and process digital evidence is a key feature of modern policing. This morning’s launch of a proof of concept for Body Worn Cameras and the supporting Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) is an important milestone for An Garda Síochána towards the implementation of Information-Led Policing.

"Body Worn Cameras, supported by the underlying legislation, technology and training will act as an important evidentiary tool. International experience has also shown that body-worn cameras will increase safety for Gardaí and the public. Now through this proof of concept we will be able to refine our systems and processes for Body Worn Cameras based on experience and feedback.”

The pilot roll-out of Body Worn Cameras will continue later this year in Limerick and Waterford. When complete, the three-phased pilot will inform their introduction in Garda Stations nationwide.