Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (952, 953)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

952. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if training is provided to community gardaí for online bullying, harassment or illegal behaviour among children and-or adults. [34475/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

953. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if training is provided to community gardaí for appropriately responding to online bullying, harassment or illegal behaviour among children. [34476/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 952 and 953 together.

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, including the arrangement of training for its members and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.

I am informed by the Commissioner that the Garda Síochána Core Programme 2019 is currently being delivered to Garda members, including Community Gardaí and Sergeant rank nationally.

One of the Modules on the Core Programme is Online Child Exploitation. This module deals with the following:

- The role of the Online Child Exploitation Unit;

- Sources of Information;

- Investigation of Sexual Crime;

- Identify what constitutes Child Pornography;

- Identify what constitutes Child Sexual Exploitation;

- Understand the legislation available to AGS;

- Dispel some of the misconceptions in dealing with Child Pornography/Sexual Exploitation cases;

- Effectively deal with reports of Sexual Exploitation; and

- Grooming/Trends.

This module also deals with how people sexually abuse and exploit children on the Internet, such as chat rooms and other social media outlets.

Additionally the Garda College have provided training to CPD Units for the Garda Schools Programme ‘Be in CTRL’ programme. This course is an awareness module for secondary schools to help students in junior cycle understand that online sexual coercion and extortion of a child is a crime. It also aims to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion of safe online communication and to inform students where to find help and support if they are victims of this crime.

The aims of the lesson are to:

- Understand and define online sexual coercion and extortion

- Identify warning signs when communicating with someone they have only met online

- Consider how they can protect themselves when communicating online

- Seek help and support if they are victims of this crime.

While the focus of these modules are child exploitation, the training also assists in the investigation of other online abuses such as bullying and harassment.