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Body cameras, terrorist threats and wages on the agenda for sergeants and inspectors

The annual conference for the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors opens later today – and they have a lot to get off their chests.

Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

GARDA SERGEANTS AND Inspectors will make a number of demands over the next three days, for better resources and working conditions and a restoration of their pay.

The annual delegate conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) opens later today in Westport, county Mayo.

The first motion on the agenda this week is the restoration of pay to 2008 levels. The AGSI is calling on the Minister for Justice to take into account “the nature of duties performed by members of An Garda Síochána”.

The conference will also call in the association’s national executive to “consider all actions” in protecting salaries, allowances and increments.

There has been a lot of talk in the last number of weeks about garda pay, with rank and file members expressing frustration about the lack of movement from the government to bring their salaries back to pre-recession levels.

Even the head of the Workplace Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey has weighed in. He told RTÉ’s Clare Byrne Live last week that the most recent public pay deal, the Lansdowne Road Agreement, should be revisited if  there is difficulty in recruiting workers in certain areas, like gardaí and nurses, because of low wages.

On disciplinary procedures in the force, there will be a motion calling on the Garda Commissioner to adopt a policy that “recognises the occurrence of honest omissions and mistakes”. The AGSI wants supervisory ranks to be allowed to resolve these issues when they arise with further training, negating the need for strict disciplinary measures.

Equipment

When it comes to resources, sergeants and inspectors want all uniformed gardaí to be supplied with ballistics vests and for plain-clothed officers at checkpoints to be given hi-vis jackets.

Source: Darron Cummings/AP/PA

Body cameras, for use in the collection of evidence, will also be discussed, as well as the need for CCTV cameras in the cell of any vehicle designed to carry a prisoner.

One interesting motion, due to be raised on Wednesday morning, refers to the international terrorism threat, asking the commissioner to provide gardaí with up to date information on the situation.

It also calls for “an in-depth critical skills analysis of the capabilities of frontline members of An Garda Síochána to counteract and tackle international terrorism, radical extremism and other modern world policing issues”.

In all, the conference is due to discuss 29 motions from garda delegates over the next three days. Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will also address sergeants and inspectors on Tuesday.

We’ll be reporting from the AGSI annual delegate conference in Westport over the next three days, so keep an eye out and follow @michellehtweet for updates throughout the day. 

Read: Gardaí accuse senior management of bullying members>

Read: Six members of the force died by suicide last year and here’s what gardaí want to do about it>

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