Garda ban on 'nixers' should be lifted, say supervisors
Published 18/04/2011 | 05:00
GARDA supervisors want to end the ban on members of the force carrying out 'nixers'.
Gardai are prevented from double jobbing if the other employment is in the drinks or security industries.
Management regulations prohibit members from holding down jobs such as pub bouncers or barmen.
Now the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) is to debate whether they want the ban lifted at its annual conference, which gets under way in Limerick this evening.
The conference will consider a motion from the Tipperary division directing its national executive to call on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Justice Minister Alan Shatter to remove a section of the Garda Code relating to prohibited spare-time activities, and to withdraw the regulation.
Delegates will argue that the motion reflects an economic reality where members have suffered pay cuts of up to 20pc, with younger personnel struggling to pay mortgages on houses bought in the boom.
The conference will also be told by the Cork North division that the commissioner should remove the ban on gardai with more than five years' service being stationed within 50km from home.
Rising costs, including increases in the price of petrol and diesel, are making it more difficult for gardai to commute, according to delegates.
And they say the moratorium on promotions means those transferred to a station in a far away division after promotion are likely to be forced to remain there longer.
The cold weather at Christmas has prompted the association to highlight the need for 'snow suits', with delegates from Dublin North calling for an evaluation of the current uniform in Arctic weather conditions.
Five other divisions want 4x4 vehicles to be made available.
Mr Callinan, who is due to address the conference tomorrow, will hear a call to prioritise the investigation of white-collar and financial crime.
Last night, the president of the association, Aidan O'Donnell, said his national executive was strongly concerned about the resources available to the garda fraud bureau to tackle not only the banking scandals but other white collar crime.
Mr O'Donnell said the public were also concerned about the huge delays in bringing suspects before the courts and, given the complexity of the investigations, more personnel were needed in the bureau.
"We would also need to be assured about the IT systems available, the use of outside financial experts, necessary additional training and upskilling and the effectiveness of the current legislation," he added.