6: A complaint of neglect of duty, resolved by supervised disciplinary investigation


Background:

A complaint was received by the Garda Ombudsman Commission from a female who alleged that a complaint she had made to Gardaí about a sexual offence had not been properly investigated, and that she had not been keep properly updated as to the progress of her case.

Action Taken:

As this was a complaint of serious neglect of duty, it was designated as a supervised disciplinary investigation, to be undertaken by a Garda Síochána Investigating Officer (GSIO) of Superintendent rank and supervised by a Garda Ombudsman Designated Officer. Numerous enquiries were conducted as part of the investigation, including taking witness statements; a review of the original Garda investigation; a review of other documentary evidence; and interviews with the four gardaí involved. A report was received from the GSIO, following which further investigation was directed by the Garda Ombudsman Designated Officer. This included further enquiries and further questioning of the gardaí involved.

Outcome:

A subsequent report was received from the GSIO recommending that two out of the four members be found to be in breach of discipline, namely Neglect of Duty for failing to keep the complainant properly updated as to the progress of her case. The Garda Ombudsman endorsed these recommendations and sent them to the Garda Commissioner.

* This type of investigation is allowed for by section 94 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005.