Following a day of reportage on a tape in which Gardaí can be heard joking about raping a Shell2Sea protestor, garda commissioner Martin Callinan released this statement:
“An Garda Síochána will continue to work closely with support organisations for victims of sexual crime and other victim support groups to ensure that our policy and approach to the investigation of sexual crime meets, first and foremost, the needs of victims.
While we are focused on achieving a successful legal outcome for a complainant, our policy and training stresses that such cases require special care and attention because of the vulnerable and difficult situation in which victims find themselves. We have stated clearly in the past and I want to say again this evening that a positive and compassionate attitude from members of An Garda Síochána is vital. That is our clear policy. That is the message delivered in our training. That is what we expect of Gardaí.”
In recent years An Garda Síochána has adopted a number of initiatives designed to enhance our investigative capability in this area including the establishment of a Crime Training Faculty to train senior investigating officers, the training and appointment of specialist interviewers and the establishment of dedicated interview suites (for child victims). The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit has built up considerable expertise and experience in the investigation of sexual crime and is available to assist and advise members throughout the country.
In stressing the resources, training and experience within An Garda Síochána for the investigation of sexual crime the commissioner stated:
“I want the message to go out to the community and particularly to victims of sexual crime that they should report those crimes to Gardaí who can take the necessary steps to vindicate and protect their rights and I want to assure them that they will be met with compassion and sensitivity”.”]