GSOC has always aimed to deal in a sensitive and effective way with victims of crime or other traumatic incidents. We have recently assessed our processes to make sure that we are doing everything we can to be in line with Directive 2012/29/EU which came into force in Ireland in November 2015.
In that context, we published a revised Victims’ Charter, to let victims of crime know what they can expect from GSOC. The essential points are below.
If you are a victim of a crime that you think has been committed by a garda against you, we will:
- acknowledge your complaint in writing within one week of receiving it;
- carefully consider your complaint and make an independent decision about whether we can investigate it or not (according to the law);
- give you information about support available to you from other agencies;
- General (emotional and practical) support
- Legal support
- Other useful resources
- tell you whether we can investigate your complaint or not and, if not, we will explain why;
- provide translation, interpreting or other services required to help you effectively communicate with us about your complaint.
In investigation of a complaint, we will:
- gather all the available evidence in a fair and impartial manner;
- assess whether you need special protection and let you know the possible options open to you if so;
- let you know what will be required of you during the investigation and give you progress updates;
- give you contact details so you can contact us;
- interview you in a sensitive manner. You will be allowed to bring someone to support you during the interview, unless we think it is not in your best interest to do so (and if that is the case, we will explain why).
Following a GSOC investigation, we will do some or all of the following, depending on the case:
- send a file on the investigation to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and ask for a direction on whether a criminal prosecution should take place;
- let you know of the DPP’s decision;
- send a file on the investigation to the Garda Commissioner to see if she agrees that a garda should be disciplined or not (and let you know what you can expect to happen during any disciplinary process);
- close the investigation because there was not enough evidence available to send a file to the DPP. If we decide not to continue with the investigation, we will tell you why (in writing).
At all times, we will try to be courteous, helpful, respectful and professional. If you are upset about a crime or other traumatic incident, we will try to respond in a caring and sensitive manner.