Report warns of 'troubling' Garda failures to perform breath tests after many serious crashes

The Policing Authority has published its latest reports on the force

Report warns of 'troubling' Garda failures to perform breath tests after many serious crashes

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Policing Authority says there is 'troubling' evidence of failure to conduct breath tests at serious and fatal road collisions.

It says 42% of drivers are not tested after serious injury crashes, and 22% are not tested after fatal collisions.

Image: Policing Authority

The concerns are raised in one of two reports relating to Garda performance that have been published by the authority today.

The reports show that while crime is up in all groups except homicide, this could be attributed to increased confidence in reporting crime to gardaí - with the authority noting that the reported increase in assaults over the past two years 'has been significant'.

It also highlights that while there are strong levels of trust in gardaí, confidence in Garda management 'remains low'.

While the force is continuing to grow - including an additional 800 gardaí since 2016 - the authority suggests this that has "not been matched by a clear strategic focus on how to reap the benefits".

In a statement, Policing Authority Chairperson Josephine Feehily said she welcomed the progress made in the force, as well as the State funding being provided.

However, she added: "More integrated planning and implementation is needed to reap the benefit of this investment and of the considerable effort being put in by the many women and men in the Garda organisation, which is why the authority is now calling for an urgent refocusing and reworking of the Modernisation and Renewal Programme."