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An Garda Síochána Commences Public Procurement Process for Body Worn Cameras

An Garda Síochána has today commenced the public procurement process for body-worn cameras (BWC) with the publication of a Request for Information (RFI) on Body Worn Cameras (BWC) and Digital Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) on EU Tenders website.

The RFI seeks to obtain information in relation to proven business and technical solutions, including lessons learned, best practices and recommendations that will assist An Garda Síochána in identifying its requirements for BWC, DEMS, and the potential for integration with/or replacement of our existing CCTV Video Management Systems (VMS).

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.

Body Worn Camera 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.

An Garda Síochána will develop and publish detailed public policy and provide internal guidance procedures for the use of BWCs following engagement with all relevant parties before BWCs are used in public.

Today is the start of the Public Procurement process.  BWCs will be used operationally, on a live operational pilot in mid-2024, with full phased roll-out of BWCs starting in 2025.

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.

DEMS will also provide An Garda Síochána a platform on which to manage existing CCTV Video Management Systems (VMS).

The DEMS typically include a public portal to facilitate publically uploaded digital images following public appeals for assistance in criminal investigations or reports of criminal activity/ offences by members of the public.

Speaking today (12th September 2023), Chief Superintendent Derek Smart, said, “In recent years, An Garda Síochána has advanced our technology, from the rollout of Active Mobility Devices, which have provided Gardaí with PULSE information at their fingertips, to GardaSAFE, which has transformed how we support the public, to the new Operational Uniform, An Garda Síochána is listening and adapting.  Body Worn Cameras have the potential to transform policing.  They provide a safeguard, not just to Gardaí, but to the public and to the people we interact with on a daily basis.”

Chief Superintendent Smart concluded, “Today is the first step in the Public Procurement process for one of the largest investments in technology in An Garda Síochána, an investment in the future of policing in Ireland.”

Also speaking today, Andrew O Sullivan, Chief Information Officer for An Garda Síochána, commented, “A modern police service must have electronic tools to be effective in keeping people safe in today’s society. Policing itself must continue to digitalise in order to keep people safe in a digital age.

One of our core principals is that every decision that could impact on a person is made by accountable, identifiable Garda personnel. There is no question of autonomous machine decision making, ever. Today’s RFI represents another major milestone in the delivery of the Garda data and technology vision, and for public safety in Ireland.”

Further details on Body Worn Cameras can be found below: