Member in Charge & Records
The member in charge of the Garda station is responsible for overseeing the custody applications regulation. If due to the number of persons detained, he is unable to discharge the functions adequately, he may delegate them to another member.
A full custody record must be kept. Entries must be signed and initialled by the persons making them. Where a person is transferred from one station to another, the custody record must be sent.
In relation to an arrested person, a record is to be made of the time, place and date of arrest, the identity of the arresting member, time of arrival, nature of the offence and relevant details of the physical and mental condition.
The member in charge must sign a declaration to the effect that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the detention is necessary for the purpose of investigation of the offence for which the person has been arrested.
Information to be Given
If a person is in custody and is charged with an offence a copy of the charge sheet containing particulars of the offence is to be given to him as soon as possible. The record is to be made of the time at which he is charged with an offence.
An arrested person must be given details in ordinary language of the offence charged, that he is entitled to control a solicitor and in the case of a person over 18 years that he is entitled to do have notification of custody sent to another person reasonably named by him, or in the case of a person under 18 to the parent or guardian is being given the information required has been requested to attend without delay.
The information may be given orally. The member in charge must give the arrested person a notice containing the information specified above and certain other specified information.
Where an arrested person is under 18 years, the member in charge must inform a parent or guardian of the person of his custody, of the offence, of entitlement to consult a solicitor and request the parent or guardian to attend at the station without delay.
If he is unable to communicate with the parent or guardian, he must inform the arrested person of that fact and of his entitlement to have notification of his being in custody sent to another person reasonably named by him. In the case of a married person, reference to parent or guardian is to refer to a spouse.
Communication & Assistance
Where a person requests a solicitor or asks for the person reasonably named to be notified, the member in charge must cause the notification as soon as possible. If the person named or solicitor cannot be contacted within a reasonable time or if they are unable or unwilling to attend, the person must be given the opportunity to ask for another solicitor or another person reasonably named by him.
Information must be given in relation to the station where the person is held to the certain persons who so request. If a person is taken to a station other than the district headquarters, the member in charge must notify the district headquarters of where the person detained is kept or transferred. The district headquarters must keep records of the notification.
The member in charge must inform any person who is a foreign national that he may communicate with his consul and may if he so wishes that the consul be notified. The member must notify the consul if requested. Consuls are entitled to visit their nationals in custody.
Access to Solicitor
Where a person, who is detained asks for a solicitor, the member in charge will notify the solicitor or cause him to be notified. If he cannot be contacted within a reasonable time or is unable or unwilling to attend the person should be asked given an opportunity to ask for another solicitor.
The arrested person should have reasonable access to his solicitor of choice and be enabled to communicate with him privately. The arrested person may receive a visit from a relative, friend or another person with an interest in his welfare, provided he so wishes and the member in charge is satisfied, that the visit can be adequately supervised and that it will not hinder or delay the investigation of the crimes.
The arrested person may make a telephone call of reasonable duration free of charge to a person reasonably named or send a letter, provided the member in charge is satisfied that will not hinder or delay the investigation of the crime. The member may listen to any such telephone calls and may terminate it if not so satisfied and read any such letter and decline to send it, if not so satisfied.
Before an arrested person has a supervised visit or communication with another person other than a solicitor, he shall be informed that anything he says during the visit or in the communication may be given in evidence.
Before a person detained is interviewed, the member concerned must identify himself and any other member present by name and rank. The interview must be conducted in a fair and humane manner. Not more than two members shall question and not more than four members shall be present at any one time. If an interview has lasted for four hours, it must be terminated or adjourned for a reasonable time.
Where an arrested person asks for a solicitor, he should not be asked to make a written statement in relation to an offence, until a reasonable time has passed to permit the attendance of the solicitor.
An arrested person should not be questioned between midnight and 8 am without the authority of the member in charge unless he is been taken to the station during that period and the member in charge has reasonable grounds for believing that to delay questioning would involve a risk of injury to persons, loss or damage of the property, destruction or interference with evidence or escape of accomplices. The provision in relation to consent in relation to the suspension of questioning is due to be repealed.
A person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs to the extent that he is unable to appreciate the significance of questions put and answers, shall not be questioned while he is in the condition concerned, except with the authority of the member in charge. This authority may only be given for the reasons set out above relative to questioning between midnight and 8 am.
If an arrested person makes a complaint to the member in relation to treatment this must be brought to the attention of the member in charge.
Records and Recording
A record is to be kept of each interview to include details of the time, breaks, place and names of the persons present. Where it is not recorded electronically or similarly, the record is to be made in a notebook if it is practicable to do so and the member concerned is of the opinion that it will not interfere with the conduct of the interview, be made while the interview is in progress or otherwise as soon as practicable thereafter and be signed by the member making and include date and time. There are separate positions in respect of interviews with the person under the age of 18.
The following are also to be recorded:
- visits to a person by a member in charge or other members;
- any other visits;
- telephone and other enquires concerning them;
- telephone calls made or letters sent by them;
- requests made by them or persons attending at the station or seeking to visit them;
- meals supplied to them;
- end of custody.
A person conducting a search of a person in custody must ensure that he understands the reason for the search and that it is conducted with due respect for the person being searched. A person in custody shall not be searched by a person of the opposite sex, other than a doctor.
Where a search involves removal of the clothing other than headgear or a coat , jacket glove or other article, no person of the opposite sex shall be present unless that person is a doctor or the member in charge considers that the presence is necessary by a reason of the violent conduct of the person to be searched. A search of a person in custody involving removal of underclothing shall where practicable be carried out by a doctor. Where clothing of footwear is retained , replacements of a reasonable standard shall be provided.
A record should be made of a search of a person in custody including the name of the person conducting the search. Particulars of the property taken from or handed over by a person in custody shall be recorded. He should be asked to sign the record of the property as being correct. Refusal may be recorded.
Fingerprints, palmprints and photograph shall not be taken except with the person’s consent or in the case of the person under 18, the consent of an appropriate adult. The fact of taking of fingerprints, palmprints, photographs, swaps or samples shall be recorded.
Fingerprints, palmprints, and photographs may be taken in pursuance of a power conferred on a member by law. Where the consent of a member of Garda Síochána is required, the name and rank of the member giving authority is recorded.
Rest and Facilities
A detained person shall be kept in custody only in a station which has the facilities to enable them to be treated in accordance with the regulations. He shall be allowed reasonable time for rest as it is necessary. He should be provided with such meals as are necessary and in any case two light meals and one main meal in any 24 hour period. He may have meals supplied at his own expense where it is practicable for this to be arranged.
Access to toilet facilities shall be provided. Where it is necessary to keep persons in cells, not more than one person shall and so far as practicable be kept in each cell. A violent person should not be placed in the cell with other persons if this can be avoided.
Where a person that is kept in a cell, a member shall visit him at intervals of approximately half an hour. A drunken person or persons under the influence of drugs shall be visited and spoken to and if necessary roused for this purpose at intervals of approximately a quarter of an hour, for a period of two hours or longer if his conditions so warrant. A member shall be accompanied when visiting him person in custody of the opposite sex who is alone in a cell.
A person under the age of 18 shall not be kept in a cell unless there is no other secure accommodation available and where practicable shall not be placed in a cell with an adult other than an adult relative.
No person in custody may be subject to ill treatment of any kind or the threat of ill treatment either against himself family or other persons connected to him. No person shall be permitted to do so.
No member shall use force against the person except reasonable force as is necessary in self defence to prevent escape, secure compliance with a lawful direction or restrain a person from injuring himself, damaging property or interfering with evidence.
If force is used which causes injury to a person in custody, these circumstances must be reported to the member in charge, who should report the matter to the superintendent in charge of the District. The action taken shall be recorded.
If a person in custody makes a complaint concerning the conduct of a member of an Garda Siochana or if it is made on his behalf, the fact of the complaint is to be recorded. Particulars are to be recorded in a separate document, the copy of which is to be attached to the custody record.
If the person alleges physical ill treatment, the member in charge shall arrange for the person to be medically examine as soon as practicable unless where allegation relates to another member he considers the complaint to be vexatious or frivolous.
Condition Affecting Detained
If a person in custody is injured under the influence of drugs or alcohol, cannot be roused, fails has to respond normally to questions or conversations appears to be suffering from mental illness or needs medical attention, the member in charge must summon a doctor or cause him to be summoned unless the persons condition appears to him to be such as it necessitates immediate removal to hospital.
The member must ensure that instructions given by a doctor are complied with. The removal of person in custody to hospital shall be recorded.
Medical advice will be sought if the person in custody claims to need medication in relation to a heart condition, epilepsy, diabetes or other potentially serious condition and the member in charge considers it necessary.
The provisions of the regulations applicable to a person under 18 years shall apply to a person whom the member knows or suspects to be mentally handicapped.