Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Informants code measures proposed

The Garda Ombudsman has made 20 recommendations regarding the handling of informants

Gardai who fail to comply with rules on informants should be removed from their position and retrained, the Garda Ombudsman has said.

The recommendation was among 20 made by the watchdog following a four-year probe into alleged collusion with convicted drug dealer Kieran Boylan.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) sent a special report to Justice Minister Alan Shatter outlining deficiencies it found in the handling of garda informers.

Key measures proposed include a review of training given to gardai on their system for informers, known as covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) and introduced seven years ago. Other recommendations stated:

:: The Garda force should liaise with other state agencies on the management of an informant being used by two handlers.

:: Rules should be drawn up on when unregistered informants can be used by officers.

:: A new rule of discipline should be created to deal with any officer who does not follow the code on informants.

:: The operation of the CHIS should be subject to external, transparent, intrusive and independent oversight.

:: Guidance should be given on the deployment of informants in garda operations and stipulate if, and when, gardai should seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions on using an informer. A full record of any communications must be filed.

:: The conduct of any informer involved in a crime known to a State agency must be subject to scrutiny.

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