GSOC recommendation regarding the timing of the execution of a search warrant
GSOC received a complaint from a member of the public relating the treatment of her family by Gardai, who called to the family home around 3 am with a search warrant in connection with the alleged theft of vehicle accessories. A number of allegations were made by members of the family, and a criminal investigation was conducted by GSOC. Upon review, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to warrant the initiation of any criminal or disciplinary proceedings. However, GSOC noted that although current legislation allows for searches to be conducted at any time, it was believed by GSOC that the timing of the search at 03:15hrs was not a reasonable time to conduct a search of this nature.
GSOC highlighted, in the report to the Garda authorities, the content of the December 2015 report of the Law Reform Commission on Search Warrants and Bench Warrants, which proposed a draft Code of Practice for executing search warrants. GSOC asked that Gardai consider adopting the Code Of Practice, which includes a recommendation that a search warrant is executed at a “reasonable time”. An acknowledgement was received from the Garda Authorities, stating that the content was noted.
GSOC will request an update from the Garda Síochána on any future action taken on foot of this recommendation.
Communications & Research Officer
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission