Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Gardai to call for more full-time armed patrols

A controversy over arming more police in the Republic is set to erupt today when supervisors call for more full-time armed patrols.

Gardai are to call on Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to deploy members of the regional support units on armed patrols on a full-time basis.

These specialist groups, which were set up to provide a speedy response to major incidents, operate normally as unarmed and uniformed gardai but can switch instantly into tactical dress if ordered to respond to a major alert.

However, the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), which gets under way in Galway this evening, will hear a call to abandon the uniformed duties and remain armed round the clock.

A conference motion says the proposal is in response to an increase in armed violence and also for the safety of gardai.

The debate on the motion is expected to create a split among the delegates with the national executive likely to come out against the proposal.

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