Gardaí issues more than 100,000 banknotes using their mobile phones

Gardaí has ​​issued more than 100,000 tickets in the past 12 months, using their cell phones.

It is part of the Garda Active Mobility program, which was first tested in Limerick in 2017.

Agents use apps that allow them to check the history and tax status of a vehicle.

Newstalk technology correspondent Jess Kelly said to the hard shoulder it’s a gamechanger.

“It has been described as the biggest change in policing in Ireland over the past 20 years.

“What’s amazing is that it was the humble mobile phone that was the driving force behind this innovation.

“If you dive across the country and see a Garda speed checkpoint, you’ll notice a massive change in terms of the way infractions are recorded and handled.

“It’s not just a matter of speed: using the same technology, you can check and scan for ANPR – Automatic License Plate Recognition – which searches for things like taxes and insurance if a driver has been disqualified – that sort of thing “.

The cost of the system has been estimated at around 15 million euros.

Deputy Commissioner David Sheehan explained: “What we were really trying to do was put real-time information in the hands of the Gardaí at the side of this road.

“It was going to allow them to make really informed decisions about who they were dealing with along this road.

“The ultimate goal for us at the time was to try to save lives on our roads, to make sure that the information we were receiving was true and informative, and also it enabled us to make decisions.

“To date, we have issued 100,000 tickets.

He also said the process is now incredibly quick and easy.

“The reality is that up until now we should have gone back to a station, we should have written all of this in a paper system, the paper system would have to be sent to Thurles.

“There were designated full-time people to enter them on a computer.

Gardaí at a checkpoint outside of Naas, Co Kildare, uses smartphones running the new Garda Mobility app to detect whether cars are not covered by insurance or taxes. Photo by: Eamonn Farrell /

“Then we got a little bit ahead in the last few years, and we got the handheld.

“And the handheld was, I guess, the first iteration of where we tried to do some of this digitally.

“I think it’s been a game-changer in that it for people on the side of the road now – by clicking a button on the side of the road – your ticket is instantly put on the system.

“There is no paper and no data entry is required.

“It used to take up to 107 days for people to get their papers… if they stopped speeding, or something like that.

“So now they get it within three days.”

Tim Willoughby is Head of Digital Services and Innovation at An Garda Síochána.

He said phones are like everyone else, but a lot safer

“We have a phone on the shelf, the same as anyone else.

“Our phones are slightly different in that we buy them off-the-shelf, we use technology that as soon as we buy them, the phone’s identity is actually registered in An Garda Síochána.

“Even if a guard loses a phone, or if someone finds a phone and tries to unlock it, it identifies itself as a Garda phone.

“The next layer of security would be that we use a secure virtual private network.

“What this gives us is that our data goes directly to Garda’s headquarters from the secure area.

“In our secure zone, what we also use is that we have secure APIs in our Pulse system or in our fixed penalty system, and in all of our other backend systems.”

Gardaí issues more than 100,000 banknotes using their mobile phones

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Main Image: Gardaí at a checkpoint outside of Naas, Co Kildare, using smartphones running the new Garda Mobility app to detect if cars are uninsured. Photo by: Eamonn Farrell /

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