Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and Member of the Oireachtas Committee for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Farrell has welcomed changes to the operation of the Garda Fixed Charge Penalty System (FCPS).
“Changes announced to the FCPS not only make life easier for the general public, but they also shed a bright light on an important Garda process, in turn restoring confidence in Garda operations.
“These changes mean that the system will be centralised at the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Thurles, a clear guide on how the system works will be available online, cancelation requests can be made on a form accessible from the Garda website and there will be regular audits.
“This is a significant change in Garda operations, particularly in light of recent events surrounding An Garda Síochana. Centralising the FCPS eradicates any questions around inappropriate interference; if a member of the public is in receipt of a speeding fine for example, this will be controlled from Thurles, and there will be no room for anyone to appeal to a Garda that they know for leniency.
“There is a sense, in many parts of the country that a nod and a wink to a Garda will assist in dealing with FCPS. This may not be the case at all, but it is a prevailing perception and a central issue that I am addressing with my colleagues in the Justice Committee in the establishment of a new Garda Authority.
“It is vital that we restore confidence in the workings of An Garda Síochana and that we support the force in the very important work that they do.
“The FCPS is a system that affects a huge number of people, it is probably the most common way most of us interact with an Garda Síochana and so it is vital that all communication is clear and transparent.
“On-going changes are being made following the Garda Inspectorate’s report into the Fixed Charge Penalty System (FCPS) to improve the effectiveness and transparency of the process. The changes announced are undoubtedly a positive step forward.”