Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. photo.

Garda Seek More Anti-Riot Equipment

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said that 200 tasers are to be supplied to the force's public order units.

And he is seeking two water cannon for deployment on a permanent basis.

Harris was speaking to the the Oireachtas Committee on Justice in the aftermath of riots in Dublin city center last week.

He said that the Garda Siochana will make a case to government for the two water cannon.

The force is currently deploying two on loan from the PSNI.

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Tasers are currently only available to armed and emergency response units, he said.

According to an RTE report, the Garda public order unit is also to be expanded and supplied with smaller round shields which enables officers to be more mobile and operate as "snatch squads" to identify and remove troublemakers from riots and protests.

Body Cameras are to be deployed as part of "a proof of concept" project in Dublin in the first quarter of next year, not in 2025 as originally envisaged, the RTE report stated.

And it added: "In addition, the Garda Dog Unit is to be expanded. There is to be an increase in Garda data scientists for evidence analysis and all front line gardaí will be issued with stronger "incapacitant" spray and more personal safety equipment, and not just armed and public order units.

"Public order unit tactics are also to be expanded and the units are to be provided with hand held video cameras.

"Commissioner Harris also told the committee changes to operational policing are already under way in the wake of the riots in Dublin city center last week.

"He said the high visibility policing operation, including public order units, will remain in the city center over the Christmas period."