GSOC report shows decrease in number of complaints in 2022

Michael Bolton

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) annual report shows a 17 per cent decrease in the number of complaints received in 2022.

The annual report for 2022 shows 1,826 complaints were made to the organisation from the public in 2022, with 3,207 allegations within complaints.

In 2022, GSOC saw its staff numbers increase to 156, with a budget of €13.67 million for 2022.

There was 27 files referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) arising from GSOC investigations into allegations of sexual violence, assault, breaches of the Road Traffic Acts and the provision of false information.

There was 2,301 complaints closed in 2022, containing 4,484 allegations, an increase of 11 per cent.

The report also shows there was 54 mandatory child protection referrals made to Tusla, with 71 non-mandatory referrals also made in 2022.

41 referrals from the Garda Síochána of matters where it appeared ‘the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of or serious harm to a person’. 17 of these related to fatalities.

“It is my hope that this Annual Report will afford the reader an accurate view of the important work done by GSOC and a sense of the challenges that an expanded and transformed police oversight and complaints body will face in the years to come", said GSOC Chairperson Rory MacCabe.

"Policing oversight is hard. It is a detailed and demanding vocation, crucial to accountability in a democratic society. Holding police, possessed of considerable powers, to account deserves the highest respect. To maintain this respect requires express and unequivocal commitment to independence.

"In recent months GSOC has clearly outlined concerns that the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill does not adequately provide for the level of institutional independence that the public rightly expects of a new policing Ombudsman body.

"Such independence was as the heart of the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing, that were accepted and endorsed without amendment by the Government. The Bill will shortly go before the Senate and my colleagues and I intend to engage further with the upper house to underscore the importance of strengthening the institutional independence of GSOC’s successor body.”