Drew and Heather, Two Loyal Servants of the Queen Run the Irish Justice System. As I said before: Imagine Paddy and Mary running the London Police Met, or Scotland Yard? No…

Posted by
See the source image
See the source image

Justice Minister responds to shortfalls in Garda responses to emergency calls

25th June 2021


tHeather Humphreys wearing a hat and smiling at the camera© Provided by Extra.ie

Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has responded to shortfalls in Garda responses to emergency calls, insisting that ‘it should not have happened’.

On Thursday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris apologised to domestic violence victims whose 999 calls were cancelled by Gardai.

Appearing at a public meeting of the Policing Authority on Thursday, Mr Harris apologised on behalf of An Garda Siochana after it emerged that over 3,100 emergency calls made by domestic violence victims between 2019 and October 2020 were ‘cancelled’.Heather Humphreys posing for the camera: Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has responded to shortfalls in Garda responses to emergency calls, insisting that ‘it should not have happened’. Pic: Steve Humphreys/PA Wire© Provided by Extra.ie Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has responded to shortfalls in Garda responses to emergency calls, insisting that ‘it should not have happened’. Pic: Steve Humphreys/PA Wire

Sarah Benson, chief executive of Women’s Aid, has raised concerns about the ‘life changing’ impact an emergency call made by a domestic violence victim can have. It has also been flagged that many of the cancellations occurred during the pandemic, at a time when a spike in domestic abuse incidents was recorded and when many victims were trapped at home with their persecutors.

Appearing on RTE’s Morning Ireland on Friday, Ms Humphreys acknowledged Mr Harris’s apology but insisted that the Gardai had let down people in need.

When asked why emergency calls from traumatised, injured and shocked women, children and men had not been met with an adequate response from Gardai, the Fine Gael minister said: ‘First of all, can I just say that this should not have happened, and any inappropriate cancellation of 999 calls is a very serious issue.a man wearing a suit and hat: On Thursday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris apologised to domestic violence victims whose 999 calls were cancelled by Gardai. Pic: Damian Eagers/PA Wire© Provided by Extra.ie On Thursday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris apologised to domestic violence victims whose 999 calls were cancelled by Gardai. Pic: Damian Eagers/PA Wire

‘The Garda Commissioner has assured me that when someone calls 999 now, they can expect and trust that An Garda Siochana will help, and that should always be the case.’

Ms Humphreys continued: ‘What happened here fell significantly below the high standards that the public expects of the Gardai, and the standards that An Garda Siochana should set for themselves.

The Commissioner has apologised yesterday to the victims. There are new processes in place to ensure that this never happens again, and that’s welcome, and I am particularly concerned that anyone experiencing domestic abuse, and indeed anyone in a vulnerable position, who gathered up the courage to seek assistance may not have received it.a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Appearing at a public meeting of the Policing Authority on Thursday, Mr Harris apologised on behalf of An Garda Siochana after it emerged that over 3,100 emergency calls made by domestic violence victims between 2019 and October 2020 were ‘cancelled’. Pic: Shutterstock© Provided by Extra.ie Appearing at a public meeting of the Policing Authority on Thursday, Mr Harris apologised on behalf of An Garda Siochana after it emerged that over 3,100 emergency calls made by domestic violence victims between 2019 and October 2020 were ‘cancelled’. Pic: Shutterstock

‘This was identified as a problem within An Garda Siochana last October as part of their own internal processes, and the Department of Justice was told in December by An Garda Siochana that it had begun to examine the cancellation of 999 calls, and An Garda Siochana also involved the Policing Authority.’

Ms Humphreys went on to say that her colleague, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, asked the Policing Authority in February to oversee an investigation into the matter.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD cited Mr Harris’s statement that investigations have found that individual Gardai did not adhere to policies and procedures when responding to emergency calls, and that measures have been put in place to reduce cancellations.Heather Humphreys standing in front of a laptop: Ms Humphreys went on to say that her colleague, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, asked the Policing Authority in February to oversee an investigation into the matter. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie Ms Humphreys went on to say that her colleague, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, asked the Policing Authority in February to oversee an investigation into the matter. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Appearing on RTE’s Prime Time on Thursday, chairman of the Policing Authority Bob Collins said that two issues are at play, the first being the cancellation of calls, and the second being the quality of service provided to people who made calls.

Mr Collins said: ‘Nobody rings 999 casually, it’s a very significant decision to take, and I’m not at all satisfied that anything like enough has been done to deal with that issue.’

When asked whether she fears that further revelations on this issue may emerge, Ms Humphreys responded by saying that she does not want to preempt the findings of a full report on the matter.Heather Humphreys posing for the camera: When asked whether she fears that further revelations on this issue may emerge, Ms Humphreys responded by saying that she does not want to preempt the findings of a full report on the matter. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie When asked whether she fears that further revelations on this issue may emerge, Ms Humphreys responded by saying that she does not want to preempt the findings of a full report on the matter. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

She continued: ‘I am confident that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that these types of issues will not arise if anyone makes a call to 999 today, and I think that’s very important to say that, that people have confidence that when they make these calls that they will be treated in the correct way and taken very seriously.’

One of the measures implemented means that only supervisors have the authority to cancel emergency calls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s