Gardaí are urging Justice Secretary to speed up bodycam legislation after recent attack

Gardaí are calling on Justice Secretary Simon Harris to speed up legislation allowing Gardaí to wear body cameras after a Gardaí nearly lost a finger in an attack in Dublin in recent days.

Attacks on Gardaí are becoming an “all too common occurrence” and Gardaí are now considering job security, said Antoinette Cunningham, general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

Ms Cunningham says there have been 10 resignations from the force in the past three weeks, which she says highlights an ongoing problem with force retention.

“For us, this raises the question of job security. And as an association, we will continue to call for public condemnation of such attacks because if we don’t, there is a risk that they will normalise. And that is unacceptable,” Ms Cunningham told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

“You can’t have exactly the people who are trying to enforce the rule of law and then become victims of the law themselves and it’s very, very unfortunate what happened to our colleague, these types of violations are very serious, they are life changing, and they should be considered unacceptable by everyone in civilized society.

“We are very publicly urging the Attorney General this morning to speed up legislation – we have seen before where the government can get legislation through Oireachta homes very quickly when the need arises. And there is no greater need than protecting the people who serve society.”

Police forces in many neighboring jurisdictions have had bodycams “for many years” and Ms Cunningham said “unfortunately we are a long way behind our counterparts in other police forces”.

The government recently indicated it will increase the maximum penalty for assaulting a member of the force, but this should also be extended to all front-line services such as paramedics and firefighters, Gardaí believe.

“We heard last night that a nurse was also attacked. We are very aware of the other blue light services but we need to impose tougher penalties. There has to be something that prohibits people from attacking frontline responders,” Ms Cunningham said.

“There are many problems in An Garda Síochána, with 109 people resigning from the force last year – unprecedented. We heard in a staff bulletin last week that there had already been 10 layoffs this year.

“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed and investigated to find out why people are leaving the organization.” Gardaí are urging Justice Secretary to speed up bodycam legislation after recent attack

Fry Electronics Team

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