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Imminent passage of body cam legislation key to holding people to account – Farrell

Facial recognition technology must be part of future policing

24th November 2023 - Alan Farrell TD

Dublin Fingal East TD and Fine Gael Dáil Spokesperson on Justice, Alan Farrell TD, has said that body cam legislation will boost Garda safety and ensure we can pursue wrongdoers; ahead of Wednesday’s (29th Nov) vote on Government legislation.

Deputy Farrell said, “Vital Garda body cam legislation is due to complete its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas with its final stage taking place on Wednesday, November 29th.

“The Bill, commenced by Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, fulfils a core tenant of the Programme for Government, enabling body worn cameras to be used by Gardaí on the beat in our towns and cities, nationwide.”

Deputy Farrell continued, “Following Thursday evening’s horrifying events, these modern tools are set to become all the more important for members of An Garda Síochána.

“The introduction of this technology will improve safety for Gardaí; and enhance the ability of Gardaí to identify and prosecute wrongdoers, while providing impartial and transparent evidence as to what Gardai see.

“Fine Gael is building stronger, safer communities. Bills such as the body cam legislation, will aid us in this effort.”

Deputy Farrell said ominous events on both sides of the Liffey on Thursday night means facial recognition technology is now also back on the table as part of future policing solutions to ensure public safety.

“With all necessary and robust safeguards, we must prioritise and implement FRT as part of An Garda Siochána’s future policing plans. I will be working with all my colleagues to achieve this.

“There can be no further delays or avoidance of the issue. Our capital city can never witness the events we saw on Thursday night and our officers need every support and tool possible. This includes facial recognition technology and I make no apology for it. Let’s get it into legislation and implement it,” Deputy Farrell said.

The Dublin TD added, “The country was shocked by the wanton violence demonstrated on our capital city’s streets on Thursday and I know that people all over Ireland will be talking about these events with friends and family, and they will want action from Government.

“Fine Gael will be relentless in our efforts to restore the confidence of people to feel safe in our cities and towns. There can be no accommodation of violence, intimidation or fear in our society. Regardless of background, a message will be sent that if you break the law, this Government and An Garda Siochana will ensure you face the consequences.”


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