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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Paul Healy & John Hand

Gardai say use of tasers would see soaring assaults on members fall dramatically

Frontline gardai believe the use of tasers would see the soaring assaults on their members fall dramatically.

The Garda Representative Association’s 45th Annual Delegate Conference kicks off tomorrow in Westport, Co Mayo, where a number of motions are being put forward to address the amount of attacks cops are facing.

Justice Minister Simon Harris has introduced legislation to get gardai body cams.

READ MORE: Cannabis jellies among drugs worth €130,000 seized by gardai in Dublin

But in a motion put forward by gardai from the South Central Dublin Metropolitan Region and members from Cork city, they call for that to be promptly executed as well as providing use of Tasers to frontline members.

President of the GRA Brendan O’Connor told the Irish Mirror: “We would use Tasers as a huge part of addressing the number of assaults on our members.

“They’re widely available to frontline officers in other jurisdictions yet we only have them with our armed support units. We need more tasers to be deployed at shorter notice to regular units who are attending violent assaults, domestic incidents and that sort of thing.”

Last year, there were 285 incidents where gardai suffered injuries during an attack. That was up from the 243 cases that were reported in 2021.

Their complaints included head injuries, dislocations, fractures, open wounds and bites.

Another motion also calls on Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to introduce regular in-person refresher self-defence training for every member to combat rising assaults.

The GRA, which represents nearly 13,000 rank-and-file gardai, will hear from its President O’Connor that there is never an excuse for attacks to be waged against frontline emergency workers.

The Donegal-based garda will also address the amount of gardai leaving the force at the conference, with this year’s theme being “Breaking Point”.

He will tell the delegates that almost a third of all gardai leaving the force last year were resignations rather than retirements, with two walking away every week in 2022.

O’Connor will say while the Commissioner is of the opinion that this attrition rate compares well against other policing federations or among other public sector employees, the GRA will argue that this concern is an escalating one.

The Garda Commissioner will address the conference tomorrow while the Justice Minister will visit on Wednesday.

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