Garda representatives call for investment in body cams

It is estimated the State could spend up to €80m fitting members with the technology

Garda representatives call for investment in body cams

A police officer holds a 'Body-Cam' in his hands at the central station in Duesseldorf, Germany, 29-01-2016. Image: Maja Hitij/DPA/PA Images

Garda representatives have insisted the funding required to introduce body cams would be money well spent.

It is estimated the State could spend up to €80m fitting members of the force with the recording equipment.

Antoinette Cunningham, President of the AGSI, told Newstalk Breakfast that she believes they are worth it:

“With the increased use of mobile phones, many incidents that the gardaí are involved in; you see snippets or pieces of mobile phone data being released – quite often giving a wrong impression of the incident in its entirety,” she said.

“I suppose, if we had the body worn cameras, we would be able to play the incident from start to finish and give a very clear account of events as they occurred.”

She said gardaí believe the technology would mean “greater accountability, fairness for everybody involved in any incidents and, we hope, result in fewer complaints and reduced assaults on our members.”

She admitted that privacy laws could pose some difficulty for the introduction of the technology – but insisted the problems are “not insurmountable,” adding “if other police forces have managed to overcome those issues I see no reason why An Garda Síochána can’t overcome them as well.”