Limerick Gardaí to be among first in country to be equipped with bodycams

Stock photo.

LIMERICK Gardaí are to be among the first cohorts in Ireland to be equipped with bodycams after An Garda Síochána published a request for tender for a new pilot scheme.

Gardaí in Limerick, as well as force members in Dublin and Waterford, will be equipped with the body cameras, as part of a €2.1million “proof of concept” scheme.

It is understood that there has been no detail given so far on the technical capabilities of the cameras to be worn by Gardaí.

The cameras will record footage onto their own internal encrypted storage and will be uploaded when the Garda docks the camera at their designated Garda station.

The footage recorded by the cameras will then be uploaded at the end of each shift and can be used as evidence in court. Footage not required as evidence will be deleted after a certain time period.

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The proof of concept phase, if successful, will be replaced by a separate procurement process designed to provide body-worn cameras (BWC) across the force, which will be informed by the learnings from the pilot scheme in Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford.

Based on the experiences of international police forces, An Garda Síochána expects the bodycams to improve Garda safety, reduce complaints of Garda misconduct, lower costs for investigations, and reduce challenges around arrests.

Chief Superintendent of the Limerick Garda Division, Derek Smart, said: “The publication of this request for tender brings An Garda Síochána a step closer to the reality of body-worn cameras being generally used by Gardaí.”

“This proof of concept period provides an opportunity for An Garda Síochána to understand the capacity and capabilities of body-worn cameras and for the public to provide their feedback to An Garda Síochána prior to the organisation wide roll out of body-worn cameras,” Chief Superintendent Smart said.

It is not yet known when the bodycams will be rolled out to Gardaí in Limerick, but Garda officials had previously said that they expect a national rollout by 2025.