Police body is reviewing canceled 999 calls, which will take ‘significantly’ longer

The completion of the Police Authority’s review of disputes over the cancellation of 999 emergency calls to Garda has been delayed and is likely to take “significantly longer than originally anticipated”.

In its annual report, the police department said it should review and look into the actions taken by the gardai to “understand and address the factors” that led to the cancellation of emergency calls.

Authorities are reviewing how the garda assesses the factors that contributed to the cancellation of automated dispatch service (CAD) 999 calls to ensure that “the proper service exists and there is trust” in the CAD 999 system.

It is part of the monitoring and evaluation of the police activities of the Garda Síochána by the police.


An independent interim report on the controversy was submitted to the authorities last November (Julien Behal/PA)

Authorities have appointed Derek Penman to conduct an independent review of An Garda Siochana regarding the canceled calls.

However, the review, although ongoing, will be deferred.

An independent interim report on the controversy was submitted to the authorities last November.

In its annual report, the Police Department says it reviewed the interim report and “an initial legal consultation was received in December to remove the remaining impediment.”

“Completion of the review and associated oversight is likely to take significantly longer than originally anticipated,” the report said.

More than 200,000 emergency calls have been cancelled, meaning some of those affected have not received the care they asked for.

Meanwhile, authorities’ oversight of the Garda Síochána also included issues regarding Garda integrity, violence against women, and drug-related policing.

Directorate Chairman Bob Collins said: “Our communities’ experience of the quality and consistency of services provided by the Garda Síochána is fundamental to understanding and evaluating policing.

“In 2021, the body continued to engage with stakeholders and communities to understand the impact of policing in people’s lives, expanding its engagement agenda and seeking new voices, including through public consultations to help set policing priorities.

“The focus of the authorities throughout the year was the support and protection of victims and vulnerable persons; increased interaction and improved quality of policing services provided to all communities; response to organized crime; and implementing the integrity of the Garda.”

The special attention of the authorities to the interaction with the Commissioner of Police in connection with the unlawful cancellation of emergency calls was a key focus in 2021.Helen McEntee

Attorney General Helen McEntee thanked Mr Collins and the police for their “continuous dedication”.

“In particular, the authorities should be commended for their focus on the policing response to the pandemic by providing robust and independent monitoring of the complex nature of policing during the pandemic,” said Ms McEntee.

“I was especially pleased with the importance that the authorities attach to the issue of violence against women and the vulnerability of children to criminal activity.

“The authorities’ focus on engaging with the Garda Commissioner regarding the abusive cancellation of calls to 999 has been a key focus in 2021 and will help maintain public confidence that all calls for An Garda Síochána assistance will be handled. sensitively and appropriately at any time in the future.”