'Consistent and widespread' breaches of penalty-points system, official report finds

A new report says there were consistent and widespread breaches of the penalty points system by those charged with running the penalty points system.

The Garda Inspectorate review of previous investigations has recommended that the cancellation of penalty points be centralised away from officers around the country.

The Justice Minister Alan Shatter is promising full implementation of the recommendations.

The inspectorate said it could not find any meaningful evidence of consistent quality management supervision of the points-cancellation process, either at Garda Headquarters, Regional, Divisional, District or any level.

The Inspectorate said there were widespread discrepancies on how penalty points were cancelled.

It makes 37 recommendations, among them the centralisation of cancellation at the fixed charge processing office.

Gardaí are being given six weeks to prepare a manual for all officers on the penalty points system.

The report says there needs to be regular audits of the system, and says pre-barcoded notbooks need to be implemented for recording and serving notices of penalty points.

In a statement, Justice Minister Alan Shatter promises full implementation of the 37 recommendations but makes no mention of the whistleblowers who brought the deficiencies to light.

KEYWORDS: penalty points
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