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Failure to resource Gardaí to tackle serious cyber crime is shocking - Mac Lochlainn

10 December, 2015 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Deputy raised the issue of charges being dropped against serious sex offenders in the Dáil 18 months ago (Transcript of exchange with Minister Fitzgerald attached)

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described revelations in the Garda Inspectorate Report Changing Policing in Ireland, that there is no cyber crime unit in An Garda Síochána as a shocking ongoing failure.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn has also expressed grave concern over the serious backlog in the Computer Crime Investigation Unit in analysing computers and other technology, that has led to serious charges against alleged sex offenders and other alleged serious criminals being dropped.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn raised his serious concerns about this failure, in the Dáil, directly with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, 18 months ago. He was assured that the matter was being urgently reviewed and addressed on behalf of the Minister by the then Acting Garda Commissioner.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

"The Garda Inspectorate's report has shone a light on a wide range of serious failings within An Garda Síochána. Surely at the top of that list is the failure to adequately resource the Computer Crime Investigation Unit of An Garda Síochána and the revelation that in the year 2015, there is no cyber crime unit established.

“18 months ago, I raised my serious concerns about the huge backlog in case work within the Computer Crime Investigation Unit with Minister Fitzgerald in the Dáil chamber. I was assured that the issues I raised were receiving the urgent attention of the Minister and senior Gardaí.

"I am now calling on Minister Fitzgerald to make a statement clarifying what progress has been made since it was revealed that the backlog in cases being examined by the unit was over 1000, and that alleged sex offenders and other alleged serious criminals were having charges dropped against them. What is the current backlog? Has the Computer Crime Investigation Unit been provided with the modern equipment they require to analyse encrypted computers? Why has An Garda Síochána not established a dedicated cyber crime unit considering that this is considered to be the biggest threat to state security across the globe?

"All of these questions must be answered and answered immediately.”

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