Gardaí lost 1,000+ official ID cards in eight years, won't release lost firearm figures

Gardaí have reported more than 1,000 official garda identification cards as lost in the last eight years. 

Criminals have in recent times misused garda identification cards including a burglar who stole money from an elderly man in the midlands

Separately An Garda Síochána has also refused to release details of the number of firearms lost by its members.

Ten cards a month lost

Garda members reported losing 1,018 identification cards, known in other jurisdictions as police warrant cards, from 2016 to 2023, according to freedom of information records released to The Ditch

Last year 138 cards were lost – an increase from 116 in 2022. The problem peaked in 2019 when members reported the loss of 167 identification cards.

On average ten Garda cards have been lost by members every month since 2016. An Garda Síochána says it issued just fewer than 950 replacement identification cards to gardaí from January 2016 to September 2022. 

Gardaí have however refused to divulge information on firearms lost by guards in the past five years. 

Relying on section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, it said that it is exempt from releasing any record “that relates to the Emergency Response Unit, the Special Detective Unit and the Security and Intelligence Sections”.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has in the past investigated the loss of official garda firearms.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors