Failure by Gardaí to respond to domestic violence calls "of deep concern", says Women's Aid 1 month ago

Failure by Gardaí to respond to domestic violence calls "of deep concern", says Women's Aid

An internal investigation found that Gardaí failed to respond to thousands of incidents between 2019 and 2020.

Women's Aid, a leading national support organisation for victims of domestic violence has said that media reports about failures by Gardaí to respond to 999 calls from domestic violence victims are "of deep concern".

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Following reports that Gardaí had failed to respond to thousands of incidents in 2019 and 2020, the organisation said that "public trust in their response is absolutely vital."

Sarah Benson, CEO of Women's Aid added: "At the present moment what is of critical importance is that there is a swift, sensitive and systematic outreach to those whose calls went unanswered; to assess their safety and support needs."

Benson said that a "complete root and branch revision" has to be completed, adding that all members of Gardaí must be "reminded of their responsibilities".

"A complete root and branch revision of internal systems and practices must also be completed to ensure that such a grievous breach of procedure can never happen again," Benson continued.

"All members of the Gardai must be reminded of their responsibilities under the Garda Domestic Abuse Policy and held to this standard. We have been given assurance that these actions are currently high priorities for An Gardai Síochána."

Women’s Aid remains available to anyone impacted by domestic abuse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900.

It comes following reports that an internal investigation had revealed that Gardai failed to respond to thousands of domestic violence incidents between 2019 and 2020.

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Senior officers across the country have reportedly been instructed to open investigation files into hundreds of cases where victims of domestic violence received no help after calling the emergency line.

Some cases involved victims repeatedly calling 999 for help, which was not forthcoming, according to the Sunday Times.

Hundreds of frontline Gardaí and a number of staff are understood to be implicated in the scandal, however, it is still unknown if any disciplinary action will be taken against the parties involved.