As €40,000 goes missing, Costello urges urgent review of Garda Station Secuity
6 January 2006
by Cllr Joe Costello
The Labour Party Spokesperson on Justice, Deputy Joe Costello, has called for a full review of the procedures for the storage in Garda Stations of items of evidence and cash seized from suspects, following the disclosure that €40,000 seized in a drugs raid had disappeared from Fitzgibbon St Garda Station.This is not a bicycle going astray: it is a huge some of money. We do not know if the money was stolen or simply lost, but I think that members of the public will regard is as extraordinary that there are not water-tight procedures for the secure storage of such sums of money.There have been previous problems in regard to this particular Garda Station as items of evidence, including a firearm, flack jacket and a quantity of drugs, also went missing in August 2003.
There is clearly now an urgent need for the introduction of new procedures to ensure that this sort of thing cannot happen again. The loss or theft of evidence required for a court case could lead to guilty persons having their charges dismissed.I believe that there should be a single designated officer in each Garda Station who would have overall responsibility for the security of items of evidence or cash seizures. This would appear to be the only way to prevent a recurrence of the Fitzgibbon St incident.