Penalty notices wiped

More than 500 fixed penalty notices have been cancelled in Co Longford since 2011, findings published in a Garda report revealed this week.

More than 500 fixed penalty notices have been cancelled in Co Longford since 2011, findings published in a Garda report revealed this week.

But claims made by garda whistleblowers which originally led to an in depth inquiry into the termination of penalty points found no evidence of criminality.

The extensive report, penned by Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Mahony, confirmed those findings in a 102 page dossier published by the Department of Justice last Wednesday.

In Longford, approximately 549 incidents where fixed charge notices were cancelled over the course of 2011 and 2012. Some 4,300 notices were issued in the Longford District in 2011. Of these, 240 or 5.6 per cent of these were cancelled.

Last year, that figure fell marginally to 5.3 per cent, resulting in 221 notices coming in for termination.

In Granard, just 61 were overturned last year despite only 27 notices being wiped just 12 months earlier.

The investigation was set up last October at the behest of Commissioner Martin Callinan in reponse to allegations by two anonymous whistleblowers.

The report found the vast majority of fixed notice charges for road traffic offences, just shy of 96 per cent, were processed through the garda system without being terminated. It contained 189 allegations, spanning a total of 2,198 cancellations of fixed charge notices. Most, it revealed were successfully investigated, while others that lacked supporting information were classed as “too general” for inquiries to go any further.

Three officers – one superintendent and two inspectors who had been acting as superintendents – whodischarged 661 notices now face disciplinary proceedings amid fears some of these may not have been carried out within correct protocols.

Commissioner Callinan said that while he welcomed the report had not found any evidence of garda corruption, investigations surrounding three officers was concerning. “I am however disappointed to discover that there was less than full compliance with policy and procedures and in a small number of cases involving three members, possible breaches of discipline have been identified,” he said.