Sunday 26 March 2017

We need to consider use of tasers, says GRA

A taser is an electroshock weapon which would offer members of the force better protection in the line of duty
A taser is an electroshock weapon which would offer members of the force better protection in the line of duty

John Brennan

GardaÍ need to be better equipped to deal with violent offenders, with a "serious debate" about the introduction of tasers, a Garda Representative Association (GRA) spokesman said.

The GRA has called for gardaí to be better protected and equipped to deal with attacks which come on a daily basis. A taser is an electroshock weapon which would offer members of the force better protection in the line of duty.

"Every garda deserves every available protection that the State can afford them," a GRA spokesman told the Irish Independent.

The comments were made in advance of the tragic killing of Garda Tony Golden in Omeath on Sunday.

But they followed a parliamentary question by Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan on the number of gardaí injured during the course of their duties.

Over the past few years, anti-stab vests, pepper spray and batons have been introduced.

"They aren't pieces of jewellery - there is a need for such items," the GRA spokesman said.

The GRA estimates that as many as three officers are assaulted each day across Ireland.

"Gardaí face every imaginable danger in the course of their work, and are duty bound to step between the public and danger. It shouldn't be a part of anyone's job to be assaulted - if assaulted, they're a victim of crime.

"Every operational garda faces uncertainty on every shift; and far too many are victims of criminal assault. Being assaulted can never be regarded as part of the job," said the spokesman.

Irish Independent

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