Taser introduction could safeguard Gardai against assaults
An Garda Siochana have called for non-lethal Taser guns to be introduced and made available to officers patrolling the streets to act as a deterrent against the rising number of assaults on officers and to reduce street crime.
The recommendations come after a rise in violent attacks on members of the gardai, when on patrol. A new system that was introduced last October to provide a comprehensive recording of the level of attacks on gardai has shown that up to a thousand assaults are being carried out on gardai each year.
The deputy general secretary of the Garda Representative Association John Healy said that between 950 and 1,000 assaults had been made, compared with an annual figure of between 400 and 425 that had had been previously recorded.
Mr Healy believes that figures previously provided by the Health and Safety Authority did not include incidents where members were spat upon or threatened with violence.
These figures were disclosed as the association’s annual conference in Killarney last month and the Association president John Parker believes that members should not have to rely on the regional support units to come to their aid with Tasers when they are needed.
Mr. Parker has suggested that all of the uniformed units should be equipped with a Taser gun in order to momentarily sedate any attackers and also suggested that pilot projects should be launched in violent “blackspots”.
Mr Parker said the gardai did not want to be turned into an armed force and the availability of Tasers would help them to deal swiftly and safely with any possible attacks on them.