Fine Gael TD, Neale Richmond, has called for increased supports for Gardaí injured in the line of duty after 837 officers were assaulted in the first ten months of the year.
Deputy Richmond said: “Our Gardaí are wholly dedicated to protecting our safety and this year they went above and beyond, working on the frontlines while the majority of us stayed at home during the pandemic.
“On a regular basis Gardaí are exposed to the worst crimes our society. They deserve our total respect but unfortunately many receive abuse while on duty.”
Deputy Richmond continued, “It has been confirmed to me through Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice, that as of October, 837 Gardaí have been assaulted while carrying out their work.
“There has been a steady increase in the reports of Gardaí being assaulted while working since 2016, when 704 assaults were recorded.
“These assaults range from obstruction to minor assault and assault causing harm.
“Worryingly, from 2016 to 2019 there has been an 18.89% increase in assaults against Gardaí, a trend which shows no sign of abating.
“These figures come at a time when the recorded incidence of assault attended to by Gardaí is also rising. From 2016-2018 there an average of 1,519 assault incidents per month were recorded, whereas 2019 saw an average of 1,757 incidents per month.
“This rise in assaults, both within the general public and against Gardaí is very worrying.
“No one deserves to be assaulted in their place of work and Gardaí are no exception.
“Those that put themselves at risk to protect our families and communities deserve our respect and admiration, not abuse and a risk to their safety.
“Tailored supports must be provided to these Gardaí, both physical and mental, to support them through their recovery and beyond.
“I have repeatedly engaged with the Minister for Justice on the need for increased mental health supports for all Garda Síochána staff and these figures reinforce the need for such approaches.
“I have requested further information from the Minister on specific supports for those injured in the line of duty and I am awaiting this information.
“As 2021 approaches it is vital that this worrying trend is addressed, and our Gardaí supported and protected”, Deputy Richmond concluded.