Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said that changes have to be made to ensure that there is not a repeat of the problem with 999 calls going unanswered.
It had been “hugely upsetting and disappointing” that in one case a call from a child reporting serious domestic abuse had not been followed up, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
The work to improve the service has begun, she said. All the recommendations made by the Policing Authority in its report published on Thursday will be adopted. The Minister added that she is going through the lengthy report in detail to see if more needs to be done.
It was important to stress to the public that the 999 service was there to support them. Greater training was needed and that was being provided, she said. “But we’re not where we need to be.”
There had been an increase in supervisors in emergency call units. “We want two per unit, we’re not there yet and that has to change.” Retrospective oversight was needed to ensure that things were done properly, that would happen with more training.
“I believe the tide is turning” she said of the garda force response to domestic violence. “We need to make changes to make sure this does not happen again.”
When asked if it was known if people had come to harm because of the missed calls, Ms McEntee said that was not known. “That’s not good enough. Anything that is needed from my department will be provided.”