Newly qualified Gardaí asked to investigate child rape

Gardaí have failed to implement over half the recommendations made 5 years ago for dealing with child sex abuse victims.

A new review by the Garda Inspectorate has found serious failings including the use of inexperienced Gardai and an insufficient online garda presence.

It's made 24 new recommendations to reduce the risk of abuse and improve the outcomes for victims.

The Gardaí are to develop a national strategy to keep children safe online.

It wants to see more of a focus on protecting children from online predators, as nearly a third of children admit engaging with strangers on the Internet.

Chief Inspector Mark Toland said Gardaí need to be more proactive: "You need to put the fear back on to the groomer. We want the groomer to think that they may be engaging Gardaí on the internet."

He said Gardaí must ensure that trained officers deal with child abuse cases: "You can't have inexperienced Gardaí investigating child sexual abuse. And we're very disappointed that we've gone back and found that sometimes Gardaí not long out of Templemore are being asked to investigate the rape of a child. That's not acceptable, it's not good practice and it's not something we found in other jurisdictions that we visited."