The safety of police officers on the streets is an “increasing worry”, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has said.
Antoinette Cunningham, General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors in Ireland, spoke about recent high-profile incidents of violence against officers and said there needed to be more of a deterrent in the courts.
She said: “One of the continued challenges we face is assaults on police officers, and we’ve had some very controversial incidents in the past year.
“That’s an increasing worry for us, the safety of our officers. We are seeking, as we have for some time, mandatory sentencing for those people that assault Garda officers in the course of their duty.”
She continued: “We had a colleague recently who was punched in the face and had his nose broken by a young man. The man got a suspended sentence in court, and we believe that sends out the wrong message.
“It seems that if you assault a member of the police, you end up with a suspended sentence, so there’s no deterrent. And that’s why we’re saying that mandatory sentencing has to be given more consideration.
“We’ve raised this with our Garda Commissioner as an area of concern and we’ve met with politicians. We will continue to lobby and advocate on this until we get success.”