How long do complaint investigations typically take?
The time taken to close an investigation depends on the level of complexity of the case, but to get an indicator, you can look in the Publications section of the website to find the median time taken to close investigations by type, per quarter.
The time taken to close an investigation depends on a number of factors:
- level of complexity of the case
- type of investigation
- time taken to receive information and evidence
- cooperation and availability of witnesses and garda members
- impact of operational matters
- whether the file is sent to the DPP for a prosecution decision and whether the case goes to court
- time taken to decide on disciplinary matters, where relevant, and whether the case goes to a Board of Inquiry
- whether an appeal is made in relation to a finding or sanction.
In relation to disciplinary matters investigated by a Garda Síochána Investigating Officer, GSOC has little control over the time taken, but does issue reminders to the GSIO, in an attempt to ensure that cases are concluded without delay. If there is an excessive delay, there is an escalation process laid out in chapter 18 of the Protocols between GSOC and AGS, which we may resort to. If the investigation is unsupervised, we may also decide to supervise it in a bid to get it completed.
You can get an indication of the durations of different investigation types in the Publications\Statistics section.