Allegations of continued abuse of penalty points system alarming – Padraig Mac Lochlainn TD
Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn TD has said reports of continued abuse of the penalty points system are alarming and worrying.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn has called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to convene a meeting of the Criminal Justice Working Group with representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Transport, An Garda Síochána, the Courts Service and the Road Safety Authority to ensure that all of the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate report are fully implemented.
Speaking today he said;
“The reports that some senior gardaí continue to abuse the penalty points system are alarming and worrying.
“Over recent years, there cannot be a single member of the An Garda Síochána that is not aware of the serious allegations from Sgt Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson now vindicated by two investigations by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Garda Inspectorate.
“The Garda Inspectorate made a series of solid recommendations in their report, ‘The Fixed Charge Processing System - A 21st Century Strategy’.
“Of particular relevance is that all petitions for cancellation should be handled centrally by the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Thurles and that that office should be the only cancellation authority.
“It also recommended that any petitions for cancellation should be supported by factual third party evidence and refused if not.
“The latest reports suggest that those recommendations have not been implemented across the Garda Districts and throughout the organisation.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald to immediately convene a meeting of the Criminal Justice Working Group with representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Transport, An Garda Síochána, the Courts Service and the Road Safety Authority, as proposed by the Garda Inspectorate, to ensure that all of the above recommendations are fully implemented as soon as possible.
“The public must be assured once and for all that there is not one rule for some and another rule for the rest of us when it comes to the penalty point system. Public confidence must be established.”