Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. Funding for the provision of freezers to store forensic evidence


Ms Francis Fitzgerald, T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality is pleased to announce that her Department will fund the provision of freezers to store forensic evidence collected from people who attend Sexual Assault Treatment Units (located in Dublin, Mullingar, Galway, Cork, Waterford and Letterkenny), but who do not immediately wish to report the matter to An Garda Síochána. The funding also covers the cost of freezer monitoring to ensure that robust evidence of appropriate storage of forensic samples may be recorded and produced in court if required.

The Minister said "I wish to commend the staff of sexual assault treatment units for the dedicated and professional manner in which they deliver a challenging and sensitive service. I hope this investment will assist in the processes of investigation and prosecution of sexual crime; and in turn lead to more reporting of sexual crimes to  An Garda Síochána."

The current options for a victim of a sexual crime attending a sexual assault treatment unit are to receive medical treatment only, or if the incident is reported to An Garda Síochána to also have a forensic examination with the gathering of evidence. These freezers will permit a third option, where a victim may not wish to involve An Garda Síochána immediately. Evidence can be gathered and securely stored for up to a year. If a victim then decides on reflection to report the incident the evidence can be made available to An Garda Síochána.

The precise amount of funding granted will depend on the cost of the fridges which will be determined following a tendering process for the equipment.