Home > Uncategorized > False Garda Breath Tests Are But One Example Of Lack Of Accountability of Irish State Agencies Including Government Itself

False Garda Breath Tests Are But One Example Of Lack Of Accountability of Irish State Agencies Including Government Itself

Almost 2 million False Breath Tests! What is the Real Explanation?

Frances Fitzgerald    Minister for Justice     8 May 2014 to 14 June 2017

SENIOR GARDAI and The MEDICAL BUREAU of ROAD SAFETY WERE COLLUDING WITHGOVERNMENT TO COVER UP FOR  CUTS IN GARDA NUMBERS!!! Garda divisional commanders were then competing with each other to cover up even more effectively for the government.

They were all prepared to have more people killed on the roads than would have been the case had the gardai been fully resourced. THIS HAS COST LIVES.

This report is an independent report from the accountancy company Crowe Horwath for the Policing Authority. The report describes a “perfect storm” of Garda management expecting ever-improving checkpoint numbers AMID CUTS TO RESOURCES AND A LACK OF FRONT-LINE SUPERVISION.

It is not credible that Noirin O’Sullivan did not inform the Department Of Justice in 2015

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety is key agency in ensuring that people do not get killed on the roads. It is not credible that the body did not inform government in 2015 having received a complaint in 2014

A key device to cover up collusion, is for the senior coluder having received the tip-off, to say to the junior coluder: “Remember You never told me this”

A State body, The Medical Bureau of Road Safety, knew two years ago(2015) that the level of breath tests being carried out by the Garda annually was roughly half what the force was claiming at the time.

In March 2015 the Garda Commissioner sought reports from divisional commanders on false garda breath tests. Some did not reply others made incomplete replies.

RTE 02/11/2017 Policing Authority Report

In March 2015 the Garda Commissioner sought reports from divisional commanders on false garda breath tests. Some did not reply others made incomplete replies

Irish Times   Thu, May 25, 2017

Breath test data issue apparent in 2015, documents reveal

State bureau did not FORMALLY notify Garda as it was told audit was already under way

(FORMALLY is the key word above. The sentence means that the Medical Bureau of Road Safety told the Garda Síochána but did not put it in writing in an official communication-PH)

A State body knew two years ago that the level of breath tests being carried out by the Garda annually was roughly half what the force was claiming at the time.

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety did not formally notify the Garda of this because it was told the force was carrying out an audit into the veracity of its MAT checkpoint and breath test data.

The disparity between the published and actual breath tests was identified by the bureau after it carried out an internal examination of a sample of breath test devices.

This was almost two years before An Garda Síochána revealed in March this year that almost a million of the two million breath tests recorded on Pulse as being performed between late 2011 and 2016 did not in fact take place.

Garda breath test scandal: How did we get here?

Conor Gallagher Irish Times  Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 16:08

The first public indication that something was amiss with An Garda Síochána’s recording of breath tests came last year, when the force stopped publishing the statistics on its website.

However, the origin of the controversy can be traced back further, to an anonymous letter sent to the Road Safety Authority(RSA) in 2014 outlining concerns about breath-testing in the west of Ireland.

Such fears were heightened in 2015, when the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, which calibrates Garda testing devices, noticed a significant discrepancy in the number of disposable mouthpieces for breath-test devices ordered by gardaí and the number of tests being recorded on the force’s Pulse computer system.

Every time a garda tests a driver, a new mouthpiece must be put on the breath-test device. So, in theory, the number of mouthpieces used should provide a rough guide to the number of tests carried out.

However, it appeared gardaí were conducting more breath tests than their orders of mouthpieces would allow.

The bureau’s concerns were confirmed by a Garda review of operations in the Cork and Kerry regions, which found that the number of breath-test results uploaded to Pulse was 17 per cent higher than the figure suggested by the number of mouthpieces used.

There was much confusion in senior Garda management about what was happening. Was it an administrative error, careless data recording or, worst of all, deliberate inflation of the numbers?

A nationwide audit was ordered and the Garda stopped publishing the breath-test data on its website. But the full extent of the scandal had yet to become apparent.

In February 2017, the story broke in The Irish Times, placing increased pressure on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, who was already dealing with other Garda scandals such as the alleged mistreatment of whistleblowers by the force.

As well as reporting a large discrepancy in the figures, The Irish Times report also described a complaint the RSA had received from a witness – who said he saw a garda blowing into a breath-test device in a Garda station and then recording the results on the Pulse system.

Ms O’Sullivan came under further pressure soon after from the Policing Authority, which was most unhappy that it had to read about the issue in the media rather than being informed about it by Garda management.

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey said the authority was not informed “due to an administrative error on my behalf”.

Extent of the problem

In March of this year, the true extent of the problem started to become apparent. Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Finn said it appeared An Garda Síochána had only carried out half the tests it had recorded between 2012 and 2016.

During that period, the force’s calibration activity suggests 1,058,157 tests were carried out. However, the records on the Garda database said 1,995,366 tests were carried out, a discrepancy of almost one million.

Mr Finn said the Garda did not know why the figures were so wrong. He insisted procedures had been changed in order to ensure it could not happen again.

Separately, the Garda also admitted that 147,000 motorists were wrongly summoned to court for road traffic infringements after they had already paid fixed-charge notices.

About 14,500 convictions arose from those cases, all of which will have to be retrospectively examined in court by gardaí at substantial cost to the State.

An internal investigation into the breath-test figures and the convictions for motoring offences was carried out by Garda management, leading to the report which was put before Cabinet on Wednesday.

As revealed by The Irish Times last Saturday, the report confirms what everyone suspected – in a significant number of cases gardaí simply made the breath-test numbers up. Other cases were the result of administrative errors, the report states.

What did come as a surprise was that the number of false breath tests was even higher than initially believed. Instead of one million, the real figure was 1.5 million over the course of seven years.

The report does not mean the end of the matter. The force is facing substantial legal bills for wrongly summonsing thousands of people to court.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the reports on breath tests and the fixed-charge processing system identified “serious and concerning problems”.

“Enormous responsibility and great trust is vested in An Garda Síochána and it is therefore vital that members of the force discharge their duties with professionalism and integrity,” he said.

The Government has, to date, stood by Ms O’Sullivan as scandals have arisen throughout her relatively short tenure as leader of the force.

Opposition politicians have used the breath-test issue to make the case that it is time for the commissioner to step aside. Those calls will undoubtedly grow louder in the days ahead.

© 2017 irishtimes.com

400,000 EXTRA FALSE GARDA BREATH TESTS NOW REACHING A GRAND TOTAL OF 1.9 Million!!! Check-Points which Never Happened! Gardai Blowing into Bags Themselves Instead of Doing Normal Policing Duties!!! But None of The Top Brass Gave Anybody an Order to Falsify Breath Tests!!!


The ethics were a case of ‘if you can get away with it, go for it’

Irish Examiner Thursday, November 02, 2017  By Michael Clifford 

At the rate we’re going, there will soon be a false breath test for every man, woman, and child in the country.

Yesterday, we learned the number of falsified tests is probably around 400,000 more than the 1.5m we were told in September. Six months earlier, it was just 1m.

Whenever somebody roots around within An Garda Síochána, more falsification, lies, and incredible excuses keep tumbling out.

The latest report, by the Policing Authority, is the most damning. It apportions blame at all levels within the force and comes to the conclusion we mightn’t even know the half of it.

“The precise extent of the discrepancy will probably never be known, and in any case the core issue is the fact that such a large discrepancy occurred and developed over a lengthy period before it was noticed,” states the report by Crowe Horwath.

There is little to no chance anybody will have to answer for what can be attributed to our old friends “systemic failure” and “culture”. To audit every call made in relation to breath tests in the force would take 21 years.

Can we identify any cogent reasons why a police force, tasked with upholding the law and maintaining order, could be involved in such widespread deception?

The report does point to pressure from above in the organisation. The pressure was to “feed the beast” to keep numbers looking good.

“No division wanted to be ‘bottom of the league’ and there was often a degree of competition and rivalry between the divisions,” says the report. So one guy looks across the divisional border and sees his competitor’s figures show he’s been breath-testing to beat the band, and he says, ‘By golly, I better get cracking on my falsifications’?

Except, of course, nobody gave explicit instructions to falsify. That would be breaking the law, and, more importantly, leaving a trail.

No questions were asked about crazy numbers being returned. No curiosity was deployed in wondering how so many tests could be
completed by so few cops in so little time.

The report highlights an issue which first appeared in the Irish Examiner last March but was denied by Garda management. A retired garda pointed out that checkpoints that were never set up were also recorded.

After his story appeared in the Irish Examiner, Clare Daly put the issue of false checkpoints to senior management at an Oireachtas justice committee meeting, but was told there was no evidence to that effect.

Funnily enough, Crowe Horwath was able to find the evidence and reported that checkpoints that were not set up were
recorded as valid.

Yesterday, the chair of the Policing Authority, Josephine Feehily, pointed out that one of the problems was that members did not appreciate the value of breath-test checkpoints in acting as a deterrent.

“There was no appreciation that there was a reason for collecting the data,” she said.

If that is so, the problems around basic communication within the force are of a different order than ever imagined.

Ms Feehily also touched on the notion of ethics as applied to the national police force. “A lot of what happened here is what you do when nobody is looking.”

The observation is frightening, and grounded in the evidence that has emerged about ethics within the force over recent years.

Put simply, the ethics applied appear to centre on the idea that if you can get away with it, go for it. In such a milieu, is it any wonder that An Garda Síochána has been limping from crisis to crisis at a time when it’s no longer possible to keep all the bad stuff buried.

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