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AGSI calls for mandatory sentences for attacks on gardaí

There is a need for mandatory sentences for attacks on gardaí, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has said.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, who is due to attend the second day of the AGSI annual conference in Westport today, has increased the sentences for attacks on emergency personnel.

Ms McEntee will remind the conference that the Government increased the maximum sentence for assaulting a garda from seven to twelve years, but the AGSI has said offenders are walking free from courts and are calling for the introduction of mandatory sentences.

Separately, the minister will also say she intends to expand the list of offences for which facial recognition technology can be used.

She will announce plans to remove garda immigration officers in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow from administrative work, which she said will free up 100 gardaí.

Accommodation and uniform issues

The AGSI is also calling for support in securing accommodation for gardaí.

The vast majority of new garda graduates are sent to Dublin where they cannot afford to rent or buy, the association has said, meaning they must live long distances from work.

Some have resigned because of it, they have said.

It is calling on the Government to provide affordable accommodation for gardaí because policing cannot be done remotely.

The AGSI has also said the quality of the garda uniform needed to be improved.

It said it is too hot indoors and too cold outdoors in winter.

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