EXCLUSIVE: Waterford gardaí told not to prosecute almost half of cases by DPP
Waterford Live can reveal that 41.2% of all files relating to crime in Waterford and sent from the county's garda stations to the DPP are returned with directions not to prosecute.
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 922 files have been sent from Waterford City, Dungarvan and Tramore Garda Stations to the DPP for direction over the last three years.
Of the 922 Waterford files dealt with by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the course of 2015, 2016 and 2017, 379 came back with a direction not to prosecute.
The files sent from Waterford stations to the DPP deal with a wide array of crimes, from public order at one end of the scale to fatal and non-fatal offences against the person, firearms, drugs and burglary at the other.
In those three years, from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017, the DPP has directed 326 Waterford files be prosecuted summarily in the District Court, while 216 have been referred to indictment hearings at higher courts. Those indictment offences relate mostly to serious crimes like assault, burglary, sexual offences and drugs.
The figures seen by Waterford Live show that the DPP directed prosecution on indictment or summarily at the District Court for 93 drug-related offences, 37 firearms offences, 170 assaults and related offences, and 88 burglary related files over the three-year period.
These numbers do not represent the total number of cases going before courts in Waterford since 2015 as gardaí can charge and bring an individual to court independent of the DPP.
Nevertheless, trials arising from DPP directed files cost a considerable amount of money, and in fact, in Waterford alone over the last three years, have cost a total of €1,045,662 to prosecute between State Solicitor and counsel fees.