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SEPIL response to recommendation of Front Line Defenders’ report
From May to November 2011 a human rights monitoring initiative led by Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International “sought to independently observe and document any human rights concerns arising in the context of the policing of protests about the Corrib gas project.”
The Frontline Defenders Report on this initiative, which was published on 16th November 2012, made the following recommendation to Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL):
"In light of the number of allegations made against private security by protesters and local residents, it is recommended that Shell E&P Ireland Limited communicates to the community the purposes for which surveillance may be undertaken by its security service, and the procedures and safeguards in place to ensure that the right to privacy is adequately protected and that surveillance is employed only when and to the degree that it is lawful and proportionate. This outreach could extend to asking what other aspects of the security services' operations cause concern to the community, and communicating responses.”
SEPIL co-operated fully with Frontline Defenders, Amnesty International and the human rights monitor assigned to the project, before, during and after the 2011 initiative.
In response to the recommendation above, we wish to state that the nature of the protests directed against the Corrib project unfortunately means that our facilities and the property of SEPIL and our contractors continue to be subjected to interference and vandalism. In 2011, during the period covered by the human rights monitoring initiative, our staff and contractors were periodically subjected to significant levels of intimidation and threats from protestors.
Therefore we take security measures to monitor these threats to our business and work sites, in the same way that other companies in Ireland do.
We confirm that the use of CCTV cameras by our security provider, I-RMS, is solely for the purposes of the protection of property and the well-being and safety of staff. In this regard, I-RMS ensures that the privacy of all those people with whom they come in contact is fully respected. All CCTV cameras are operated in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
Furthermore, hand-held video recording devices are only used when a Security Team Leader believes that an incident of a security nature is about to occur or such an incident has actually occurred.
Afterwards, if it is considered that criminal activity has taken place, then the video recording is secured and provided to An Garda Síochána if required by them.
We regularly discuss project impacts, including security, with individual residents, local groups and community representatives. We are committed to ensuring that our construction works and associated activities have the least impact possible on our neighbours and other members of the community.
Shell E&P Ireland Limited is satisfied that the work of our security provider, I-RMS, is carried out to the highest standards and in accordance with the law and with the regulations as set down by the Private Security Authority of Ireland.