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Latest News 12-09-2016

Garda Ombudsman investigation into complaints of neglect of duty in the investigation of alleged child sexual assault recommends no individual breaches of discipline, but finds serious system failure

The Garda Ombudsman has published a recent report following an investigation into complaints of neglect of duty in the investigation of the alleged sexual assault of two separate children by the same teenager.*

The complaints contained allegations about delays in the Garda investigation and lack of proper investigation. A High Court judicial review prevented a prosecution from proceeding in relation to the alleged perpetrator, with the Judge stating that “The main issue in the case was the claim that the delay had amounted to a breach of [his] right to be tried with due expedition”.

At the conclusion of this investigation, the Ombudsman Commission did not recommend that any individual garda should be found in breach of discipline. However, the Commission observed that there were several incidents of serious failure of the system in this case.

It is acknowledged that, following the judicial review and internal Garda reviews, significant changes have been implemented at the Garda Youth Diversion Office (formerly called the National Juvenile Liaison Office).

We believe that it is to the benefit of the system for recommendations based on the findings of this investigation to be communicated nonetheless. We put forward eight recommendations in the report, as well as reiterating some made previously by the Garda Inspectorate.

GSOC has transmitted a copy of this investigation report to the Garda Síochána, as well as to relevant working groups and services. We hope that this work may contribute to other families who are the victims of alleged serious crimes by juveniles being dealt with in a more satisfactory way and reduce the need for such complaints.

 

*While it is unusual for the Ombudsman Commission to publish reports following complaint investigations, in certain cases the Ombudsman Commission deems it to be in the public interest and does so, in line with section 103 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

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