Justice | Number of gardaí off duty due to injury and how to reduce attacks
To ask the Minister for Justice the total number of gardaí currently off duty as a result of injuries received in the course of their duties; the degree to which efforts are made to ensure that any such attacks are minimised; if further action is required in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am informed by the Garda Authorities that as of June 2022, there were 199 Garda members on sick leave due to an injury sustained while on-duty.
I am also advised by the Garda authorities that to ensure Garda members can safely and effectively carry out their statutory and common-law duties, Gardaí are trained in arrest and restraint techniques and they are provided with the following personal protective equipment (PPE) and trained in its use:
– Ballistic stab vest
– Asp baton
– Incapacitant Spray
– Rigid handcuffs
I am informed that Local Garda management conduct risk assessments on a regular basis to identify the hazards, assess the risk presented by the hazards and put control measures in place. The completed risk assessments are brought to the attention of all personnel. I am also informed that injury on duty records are not solely related to injuries arising from attacks on Garda members. In addition, while the criminal law in this area is being kept under ongoing review, there are a range of robust legislative provisions available to the Garda authorities in circumstances where threats or assaults are made against Gardaí.
Any assault causing harm on any person is an offence under section 3 of the Non–Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. A person convicted of such an offence would be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a maximum fine of €2,500 or both, or on conviction on indictment, to a fine, or to imprisonment, for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.
Furthermore, an assault on a member of An Garda Síochána, a prison officer, a member of the fire brigade, ambulance personnel, or a member of the Defence Forces would constitute an offence under section 19 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.
A person convicted of such an offence would be liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of €5,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both. A person convicted of such an offence on indictment would be liable to a fine, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years, or both.
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