The Garda Inspectorate has said a new system needs to be introduced to manage high risk offenders, such as sex offenders, and those on bail in the community.

The Inspectorate also told the Oireachtas Justice Committee that the garda's PULSE computer system is not fit for purpose

The three person Garda Inspectorate told the Committee that high risk offenders need to be supervised in the community not just by the gardaí but also by other agencies.

They pointed out that gardaí have no powers to immediately arrest an offender who breaches bail.

They said it was time to retire the garda PULSE system because it is 1990's technology and cannot track offenders. 

Call for changes to tackle wasted garda time

The Garda Inspectorate has also recommended changes such as the use of video links to reduce the time wasted by gardaí and other professionals in court.

Chief Inspector Robert Olson told the Committee that 25% of all garda overtime is spent on gardaí sitting around waiting in courtrooms.

He said there needs to be an interagency approach to tackle this problem.

Mr Toland said technology could reduce the time spent in court.

For example, he said it would allow a doctor or a garda in Kerry, who has to give evidence in a court in Dublin, give that evidence via video link.

He also said that pre-trial hearings have helped to speed up the process in the Circuit Courts and these could be rolled out at District Court level.

Mr Toland also said that the garda's universal roster was not working.

He said that at many times gardaí were not working when needed and investigations were not being carried out, while at others, he said they were "tripping over each other".

Mr Toland added that approximately 30% of the 5,000 neighbourhood watch schemes in the country are dormant.

He said it was necessary to develop new community alerts and neighbourhood watch groups in areas of high crime.

Mr Toland said community gardaí need to encourage and develop these schemes.