Assaults on Gardaí cannot be allowed to become a new norm – O’Callaghan

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Jim O’ Callaghan has called for a zero-tolerance policy for assaults on Gardaí.

New figures released indicate that Gardaí have reported 430 injuries to the health and safety section of An Garda Síochána since 2017.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: „Policing is a difficult job, and assaults experienced in the course of duty can unfortunately be a reality. Gardaí must sometimes deal with hardened criminals who have no respect for the norms that decent people hold themselves to. However, those engaged in policing should have upmost confidence that anyone who assaults or threatens a member of An Garda Síochána will face the full weight of the law.”

Deputy O’Callaghan said it was deeply concerning that this does not appear to be happening.

„The GRA has said that the number of Gardaí who are assaulted and do not report incidents is far higher than the 430 reports freedom of information requests have uncovered.

„It is particularly worrying that we are seeing an increased use of social media to target and harass garda members who are simply trying to do their jobs. While it is right that members of the force should be accountable, they should not have to live in fear because they are doing the right thing and upholding the law.

„Gardaí who suffer violent attacks on duty to be afforded the same rights under the criminal justice system as members of the public who are assaulted. The Minister for Justice must engage with the Garda Commissioner to ensure that the supports are in place for members of the force who experience assault. A concerted effort is required to ensure that criminals who assault or threaten garda members face the consequences of their actions,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.

Fianna Fáil

Jim O’Callaghan TD

Spokesperson on Justice

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