Monday 17 December 2018

More than 1,400 attacks on officers in the past six years

The GRA wants much tougher sentences for attacks on gardaí
The GRA wants much tougher sentences for attacks on gardaí
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

More than 1,400 gardaí have been assaulted in the course of their duty in the past six years.

The injuries range from bruises to serious multiple wounds. Several officers were diagnosed with infections as a result of being assaulted.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information request show that 158 gardaí were attacked while working in the first 11 months of this year.

Since 2012, 1,424 gardaí have been injured after being physically assaulted on the job.

The highest number of attacks was recorded in 2015, when gardaí were assaulted on 298 occasions.

Despite the large number of assaults - which averages out at one every second day - the Garda Representative Association (GRA) believes that the true figure is actually much higher.

GRA spokesman John O'Keeffe said assaults on frontline personnel were "hugely under-reported" and that sentencing by the judiciary was not deterring attacks on gardaí.

"There is no comparable occupation where employees are likely to suffer such a debilitating range of injuries and subsequent illnesses while carrying out their normal operational duties," he said.

"Sentencing remains a big issue for our members. Criminals have zero fear of committing crime, because there are zero consequences in the courts for attacks on gardaí."

The Garda union also called for non-lethal Tasers to be made available for its frontline officers.

Figures show that officers policing the DMR West garda division in the capital have suffered the most assaults in recent years.

Gardaí in this division police a large area of west Dublin, which includes Finglas, Blanchardstown, Ballyfermot and Lucan.

Since 2012, more than 140 assaults on gardaí have been recorded in this division, including 19 this year alone.

Irish Independent

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