Government to legalise use of body cams and other recording devices for Gardaí 1 month ago

Government to legalise use of body cams and other recording devices for Gardaí

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is set to bring the outline of the new Bill to Cabinet on Tuesday.

The Government is set to introduce legislation to legalise the use of body cameras for Gardaí.

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The Garda Síochána Digital Recording Bill will also give Gardaí new powers to use other recording devices, including phones, camcorders, laptops, and drones while performing their duties.

According to the Irish Times, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is set to bring the outline of the new Bill to Cabinet on Tuesday, however, measures are unlikely to come into effect until next year.

The new legislation can only be used to prevent, detect or prosecute criminal offences, secure public order or safety, or prevent threats to public security.

The Digital Recording Bill will also replace existing legislation on CCTV in public places and allow for mobile CCTV cameras to be placed on Gardaí cars and vans.

The deployment of body-worn cameras by Gardaí was recommended by the Commission on the Future of Policing two and a half years ago.

The Commission's recommendations were accepted by Government and are currently being implemented through the Government's four-year implementation plan entitled A Policing Service for the Future.

McEntee said at the time that the legislation will be "an overt policing bill" and there will be a requirement that "the cameras must be visible on the clothing of the Garda officer."

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The Code of Practice will also be prepared by the Garda Commissioner who will ensure that a Human Rights Impact Assessment and a Data Protection Impact Assessment are carried out.