Camera phones for gardai suggested

In the just off-the-wall-enough-to-be-implemented category, the idea from McDowell is that Gardai should be able to take photos of public order/offence suspects as a matter of course. And the rationale? In case people give false name and addresses. It sounds more like a national database for the Gardai by the backdoor to me. Let’s read the meat:

Mr McDowell told TDs he envisaged “the day, now that we are in the era that most of us carry a camera in our phone, that gardaí on duty dealing with a disorder situation, where they ask someone for their name and address, would also take a photograph of them so they know who they were dealing with afterwards, and that somehow this would be digitally sendable back to some record somewhere so that it is kept.

“I don’t see that this is a huge civil liberties issue,” he said. “It does seem to me that we will soon get to the point that every squad car has a mobile computer attached to it and will be in a position to communicate back.”

Mr McDowell also said he would like to see closed circuit television monitoring installed throughout every Garda station, which would be in addition to recording interviews.

The Garda is planning to introduce a new €6 million computer and camera system for Garda traffic corps vehicles which will be able to read car registrations and which will be linked to the Garda pulse system.

It means any vehicles which are not taxed or insured or which have been reported stolen will trigger a warning notice on an in-car computer screen.

Would anyone else have a problem being photographed as a matter of course for even being suspected for such a minor offence?

11 thoughts on “Camera phones for gardai suggested”

  1. Gardai already routinely photograph and film people at protests. It should not be too hard to find pivtures of them doing it at They usually have a few people on top of the GPO.

  2. Simon, Gardai do not have access to the passport office at 4am on a Sunday morning when they arrest you. Nor to my knowledge is that database available ad hoc.

    Under this proposed system they would have access to photos from their cars at all times.

    Eamonn, I am well aware of the practice, as is common in European countries. What I was pointing out was the frivolous nature of the rationale.

  3. Ah… My eyes kind of glaze over with McDowell at this stage. In answer to the question at the end of the post: yes. Keep spilling the dirt on the guards and maybe other people will think twice about letting the big friendly guards take liberties.

  4. Simon, Gardai do not have access to the passport office at 4am on a Sunday morning when they arrest you.

    If they arrest you I am sure they take a mug shot anyway. The issue here is I believe when questioning witnesses they know who they were talking to rather then have gardai having to remember discriptions

  5. If they are arrest you….the suggestion is they photograph anyone, suspect or not.

    If it were that simple, rules would be put in place to delete images after an investigation. No such provision will be implemented I believe, rather it will be a garda ID database by proxy.

  6. Maybe the gardia should change their name in the interest of the irish people law and order, to the KGB.
    because thats the way things are going since this war on terror gave every weateern govermnet the officail go ahead to what the want with little resistence from are supposeedly indo media. so what if agaurd does not like the look of someone he’ll take a picture to brood over its sick.

  7. Maybe the gardia should change their name in the interest of the irish people law and order, to the KGB.
    replying to that type of comment is a waste of time

  8. Gardaí may have to take photograph’s soon of the people who rapidley speed due to the 17/18 deaths in this week.
    Because if you speed twice how can gardaí traffic corps know that you have been speeding on the same day.
    They may soon have a database for picture and gardaí can compare them sometimes. UP TO 4 PENALTY POINTS FOR SPEEDING. GET THE POINT NOT THE POINTS. ARRIVE ALIVE DRIVE safley. !!!!

  9. dont make me laugh ffs cops with camers phones,if every cop in ireland had cam fones they would be too busy sending pictures to each other to even spot a crime example johns lane west just off thomas street,yesterday i was delivering a letter to focas ireland but i cudnt find it,wen i finally found a cop she was too busy fidgetin with sum pocket size gadget to even notice the 3 scumbags on the other side of the fence shootin up in broad daylight honest 1 had a needle hangin outta his arm 1 was standin there dividin out drugs between them an the other was too wasted to even look at them never mind try run if this guard had decided to do sumthin but hey thats the irish defence for ye.imagin cam fones ha not a chance

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