I have supported the call to supply frontline Gardaí with tasers.
According to the GRA, 600 Gardaí were injured in the line of duty last year, 46% of which were directly as result of assault.
Gardaí are also, being spat at and assaulted by a small, sinister minority at some water charge protests.
Alarmingly a new trend seems to have emerged where Gardaí are being trolled on social media, with money offered online to obtain the names and addresses of Gardaí policing such protests.
Currently Gardaí have the extendable baton, pepper spray and firearms, but nothing in between. What is needed is a deterrent which is effective, but unlike a firearm, is not designed to be lethal.
Although the misuse of tasers has resulted in a relatively minute number of deaths globally – they were introduced in the US as non-lethal weapons to be used by police to subdue potentially dangerous people.
A 2009 US Police Executive Research Forum study found that officer injuries drop by 76% when a taser is used.
Although I strongly believe it should be used as a last resort, I support the use of tasers, if and when the situation merits.