An elderly woman in Finglas, Dublin, has had to wait 43 days for a visit from the Garda after reporting that her windows were broken due to a “serious flaw” in the command and control system. The woman turned to Gardaí on October 1, it is said.
The case is one of as many as 300 calls not promptly dealt with in the West Dublin (DMR) metropolitan area over the past three months following the 999 call scandal.
When a member of the public dials 999 or your local station to report a crime, it is entered into the command and control system. The best placed available officer is then sent to investigate.
However, a “flaw” in the system means that if an agent is assigned a call but is then redirected to another location, often by being redirected to a more serious call, the case will not be routed to the next available duty officer.
The problem has emerged as a “particular problem” in Dublin West – which includes Blanchardstown, Finglas and Clondalkin – as it is one of the busiest Garda districts in the county.
The Garda Representatives Association (GRA), the country’s largest Garda union, is understood to have identified and discussed the issue internally and intends to raise it with Garda management.
“The case of the elderly woman in Finglas is an example of how the system does not work properly. When a member of the public reports a crime it is processed through the command-and-control system and a garda is assigned to it. There are numerous incidents of an officer making their way to the scene to respond to a reported crime, but they are then diverted to a more serious incident” a source said, reports Independent.
Another source said this is becoming a “particular problem” in urban areas as opposed to rural parts of the country.
“Unfortunately the general public in DMR West is suffering more than most of the rest of the country. It should not be the case that there is a huge difference in the police response you will get if you live in Finglas, for example, compared to somewhere like rural Mayo. But unfortunately that is the reality at the moment,” the source said, reports Independent.
Garda headquarters have been contacted for comment.
The revelation came within a week, when an internal Gardaí document made available to this newspaper showed 100 Gardaí have resigned from the force this year, while a “mass exodus” of officers and front-line police continues to mount meets.
A source pointed out that this number was “far higher” than in previous years.
“Gardaí continue to walk away from the job in their droves,” the source explained, reports Independent.
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