The Taoiseach has described a report into the cancellation of thousands of 999 calls by Gardai as 'extremely worrying'.
The Policing Authority paper published this afternoon found that the substantial shortcomings in the handling of 999 calls led to the “potential for serious harm to victims.”
The review found numerous failings in An Garda Síochána’s handling of 999 calls, including many being cancelled.
More than 3,000 of the cancelled calls related to domestic violence.
Michael Martin said it's a serious issue.
“I think the public must have complete confidence in that system that when they make a 999 call, they get an immediate and appropriate response,” he said.
“Because obviously, in the vast majority of cases, people ring that number when they’re in distress and in need of support.”
The report, led by former Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, Derek Penman uncovered several inconsistencies within the four regional control rooms.
Mr Penman’s investigation involved listening to a sample of 210 cancelled calls that were made to 999 service line between 2019 and 2020.
They found “several instances of substantial shortcomings in call handlings.”
However, the report found that “though there was the potential for serious harm to victims due to these shortcomings, no actual harm was identified” from this particular sample.
It does say that, in instances where the caller didn’t identify themselves, there’s no way to determine whether they experienced serious harm after hanging up the phone.
The team pointed to inconsistencies in different control rooms and very few checks by supervisors.
It said, in some cases, it found the call receiver failed to accurately record the information of the person on the line, which led to Gardaí being dispatched to the wrong location and unable to recontact the caller.
The report says the issues in the system are “indicative of a chronic lack of investment” in the services.