Justice Minister Simon Harris will present proposals to the government in the coming weeks to change the laws to increase sentences for assaults that caused harm to An Garda Síochána members and other emergency service workers, reports RTE.
He said he would introduce a maximum 12-year sentence for such assaults against an on-duty guard or emergency services worker, such as hospital staff, correctional officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel or members of the defence forces.
This would also cover ramming by a Garda or other emergency vehicle.
The Gardaí have come under attack in recent months in Ballyfermot in Dublin and other areas.
“I want to change the law to ensure that we, the people’s representatives, send a very clear message that attacks on members of An Garda Síochána will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly by a law that provides for longer sentences,” Mr Harris said, reports RTE.
Mr Harris said he will also change the law to specifically provide a higher maximum penalty for assaulting a guard or other emergency services worker on his or her job.
Last month Garda Commissioner Drew Harris called for legislation relating to assaults on members of the force to be updated.
The Association of Garda Representatives (GRA) met the minister in recent months to discuss the issue and asked for the establishment of a special task force to address the issue, reports RTE.
Concerns were also raised about the low level of new Garda recruits at Templemore Training School.
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