Garda Síochána Act 2005

Security in public places.

38.— (1) The Garda Commissioner may authorise the installation and operation of CCTV for the sole or primary purpose of securing public order and safety in public places by facilitating the deterrence, prevention, detection and prosecution of offences.

(2) The Garda Commissioner shall specify the areas within which, based on the information available to him or her, the installation and operation of CCTV is warranted for the purpose specified in subsection (1).

(3) Authorisation may be given to any or all of the following:

(a) members of the Garda Síochána;

(b) persons who meet the established criteria and who are retained under a contract with the Garda Commissioner;

(c) persons who meet the established criteria and whose application for authorisation in respect of a specified area within the administrative area of a local authority has been approved by the local authority after consulting with the joint policing committee for that administrative area.

(4) The Garda Commissioner shall establish criteria for the purposes of subsection (3)(b).

(5) The Government shall, by order, establish criteria for the purposes of subsection (3)(c) and may establish different criteria for different classes of applicants for authorisation.

(6) An authorisation may contain such terms and conditions as the Garda Commissioner considers necessary—

(a) generally for the purpose of this section, and

(b) in relation only to an authorisation given under subsection (3)(c), for the purposes of controlling and supervising the operation of the CCTV to which the authorisation relates.

(7) A person given an authorisation under subsection (3)(c) shall ensure that members of the Garda Síochána have access at all times to the CCTV to which that authorisation relates for the purpose of—

(a) supervising and controlling the operation of the CCTV on behalf of the Garda Commisioner, or

(b) retrieving information or data recorded by the CCTV.

(8) The Garda Commissioner may—

(a) issue directions to authorised persons in relation to the installation and operation of CCTV, and

(b) with the Minister’s consent, revoke, for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the authorisation or with a direction issued by the Commissioner, an authorisation given under subsection (3)(c).

(9) On being notified by the Garda Commissioner of the revocation of an authorisation under subsection (8), the person to whom the authorisation was given shall terminate the operation of the CCTV to which the revoked authorisation relates.

(10) A person who contravenes subsection (9) is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

(11) The Minister—

(a) shall issue guidelines to the Garda Commissioner concerning the supervision and control by the Commissioner of the monitoring of CCTV by authorised persons, and

(b) may revise those guidelines or may withdraw them and issue new guidelines.

(12) The Minister shall cause a copy of any guidelines issued under this section, and of any revisions to them, to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after the guidelines are issued or revised.

(13) This section does not apply to the installation or operation of CCTV on any premises by the owner or occupier of the premises for the purpose of safeguarding persons or property on the premises or in its environs.

(14) In this section—

“authorisation” means an authorisation given by the Garda Commissioner under this section;

“authorised person” means a person referred to in subsection (3)(b) or (c) who holds an authorisation;

“CCTV” means any fixed and permanent system employing optical devices for recording visual images of events occurring in public places;

“operation”, in relation to CCTV, includes the maintainance and monitoring of CCTV;

“public place” means a place to which the public have or are permitted access, whether as of right or by express or implied permission;

“specified area” means an area specified under subsection (2).