An Garda Síochána
An Garda Síochána, the national police Service, is the body responsible for maintaining law and order in the Republic of Ireland, and also for investigating reports of crime by victims.
Reporting a crime
You can report a crime at any Garda station – in general people report to the station nearest where the incident happened.
The contact details of stations country wide are available at http://www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx
- If you feel that you would like special sensitivity from the Gardaí, you can ring your local station and make an appointment to speak to a Garda or Sergeant privately. If it would make you more comfortable, you can also request to speak to a male or female Garda.
- If your circumstances leave you unable to go to a Garda Station, you can request that a Garda comes to your home to take a report.
- If you do not speak English or Irish fluently the Gardaí will provide free translation services to you.
If you have concerns about reporting an incident and the consequences of doing so, you can contact our helpline in confidence and discuss these with one of our volunteers.
What to expect when reporting a crime
You will be asked to give a formal statement to the Garda, which will be written down by the Garda and then given to you to read over before you will be asked to sign. It will be necessary for you to explain, in detail, the crime which took place.
The Garda will then read it back to you and once you are happy that the statement accurately reflects your complaint, you will be asked to sign it. You may request a copy of your statement.
The Garda will then explain the investigation process to you and provide you with the name, telephone number and station of the investigating Garda. Once you have given your statement the matter will then be investigated by the Gardaí.
When the investigation is complete the case is referred to the Garda Superintendent or to the DPP for a decision on prosecution.
For less serious crimes such as public order offences, some traffic offences and minor assaults, the case is prosecuted by the Gardaí in the District Court. For more serious crimes the file is referred to the DPP who decides where and whether to prosecute or not.
In these cases the prosecution is carried out by the office of the DPP, usually in the Circuit or Central Criminal Court.
If you have any questions on the Garda Investigation please see our FAQ section or contact us on our helpline at 1850 211407
About the Garda Liaison Service
Gardaí have established a number of liaison services to provide tailored support to victims. You can avail of any of these services by contacting your local Garda Station.
- Garda Family Liaison Officers are appointed to provide support to victims of crime affected by traumatic crimes such as homicide, kidnap, false imprisonment, hostage siege situations and other serious crimes where this is deemed appropriate by the local Superintendent. The role of the family Liaison Officer is to keep the victim informed on all matters relating to the crime and to provide practical information and support. Referrals can be made by the Garda FLO, with the consent of the victim, to ensure appropriate emotional and psychological support
- Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers are trained to provide specific support and advice to victims of racist incidents. If you report an incident of racism, the Gardaí will inform you of the designated Liaison Officer in your area.
- The Gardaí also provide a Liaison scheme for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community. Officers are trained to provide support to victims from the LGBT community and encourage reporting of homophobic crime where appropriate.
What to expect form the Gardaí in support of victims of crime
The Gardaí work in co-operation and partnership with the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime and organisations committed to the support of victims nationally.
On reporting a crime, Gardaí will inform victims of the support services available and will provide each victim with the Crime Victims Helpline number.
Victims who are tourists are referred to the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS).
The Gardaí, on request by a victim, also interact with support services at a local level to ensure adequate support.
Garda Charter for Victims of Crime - their commitment to victims
An Garda Síochána’s commitment to victims is outlined in the Garda Charter for Victims of Crime, which is available at Garda charter for crime victims. (pdf)
All members of An Garda Síochána are trained to treat victims with dignity and respect, and the charter recognises the “special place” victims have in the criminal justice system.
The Gardaí will establish a helpful and supportive relationship with victims, with special regard for their needs and concerns.
Special arrangements will be made for different categories of victims, including older people, people with any form of disability and victims of rape and domestic violence.
If you are not satisfied with the Garda investigation the following options are available:
- You can write to your local Superintendent or you can make an appointment to speak to him/her personally.
- You can contact the Garda Victim Liaison Office at Community Relations & Community Policing Section, Harcourt Square, Dublin 2.