‘Increased demand’ for Garda-operated CCTV nationally, claims Policing Authority

The national policing authority has claimed there is an ‘increasing demand nationally’ for more Gardai operated CCTV, with the latest policy document listing traffic management, VIP visits and protest marches amongst the reasons for ‘legitimate use’.

Increasing demand

“There is an increasing demand nationally from community and business groups for CCTV systems in their respective towns, cities and rural villages,” stated a representative of the policing authority in correspondence obtained by Right to Know under FOI.

Claims of a  ‘huge demand’  were echoed in a policy document called “Policy for Closed Circuit Television in Public Places” which lays out various considerations in relation to the proper use of CCTV by Gardai:

“The proper use of CCTV in any community environment assists in the reduction of crime and the fear of crime, the detection of offenders where crime is committed, whilst affording a deterrent effect to the person intent on committing crime in that

There are however many other legitimate uses, not directly related to crime, which include traffic management, tracing missing persons, outbreaks of fire, protest
marches, VIP visits, monitoring cash movements and drug enforcement.”

“Not a Panacea”

The report stated its commitment to the use of ‘innovative policies’ while acknowledging that “Everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence.”

It also warned “CCTV is not a panacea for all problems”, stressing that it should be an “aid to policing” and that it must be emphasised in policy discussions that “it will never dispense with the uniform Garda on the street”.

You can read the full report below.

FOI details:

The report is the result of a Right to Know FOI request to the Policing Authority as follows:

"All records relating to use of CCTV by An Garda Síochána (AGS) whether under section 38 or
otherwise, this might include records relating to the preparation of guidelines, records relating to
discussions with AGS on the topic etc"