Assaults on gardaí raise resource concern

Assaults on gardaí raise resource concern

Garda representatives have raised fresh concerns for the safety of members after the latest incident left one garda with a broken arm and another garda bitten.

The injuries were sustained when the two gardaí were responding to a call near Fitzwilliam Square, in Dublin's south inner city, in early hours of last Saturday.

Both gardaí, attached to Pearse Street Garda station, were later discharged from hospital but the female garda who was bitten will have to wait for a number of months for the results of tests.

The two gardaí were on regular duties on the night when they responded to a call, apparently of an injured person, on the square at 4.30am.

Damien McCarthy of the Garda Representative Association Dublin South Central branch said: “Once again this incident clearly highlights the dangers and risks that we are responding to on a constant basis.

“Two of my colleagues are recovering from very serious injuries and I'm grateful they have been discharged from hospital.”

A statement from Garda HQ said: “Gardaí are investigating an incident where two members of An Garda Síochána were assaulted on November 16, 2019 at Fitzwilliam Square East at approximately 4.30pm.

“They received treatment at St James’ hospital and have since been discharged.”

It said a man was arrested in relation to the matter.

Mr McCarthy said this brings to between eight and 10 the number of gardaí from Pearse Street station injured in attacks in the last four months or so, including another female garda bitten on Grafton Street a couple of months ago.

At the end of July, a garda escaped serious injury after being dragged along by a car which was reversing at speed along Cork Street.

Mr McCarthy said last weekend's attack comes amid a cut in garda resources following a significant reduction in overtime.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris announced cuts in garda overtime in a bid to bring budgetary overspending into line with Government demands.

“We are under severe pressure to maintain proper policing service,” said Mr McCarthy. “Christmas is fast approaching, with parties and night outs, and there will be increased demand for policing.

“Given that the overtime budget has been significantly reduced in recent months, with fewer members on the street, this is putting extra pressure on our members.”

He called on the Government to east budgetary constraints.

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