In the wake of violent riots in Dublin, Justice Minister Helen McEntee has announced that the Irish Government is considering bolstering gardaí powers to manage such incidents more effectively. The riots, which saw a patrol car set ablaze and children stabbed, have sparked a call for more support for frontline officers.
Enhancing Policing Powers
McEntee has requested the Policing Authority to evaluate what additional support might be necessary for frontline officers. This could include clarity on the use of force, provision of non-lethal equipment, stronger vehicles, and increased resources. The Minister stressed the need for gardaí to have the confidence to use appropriate force where necessary, without hesitation.
Accelerating Bodycam Deployment
The Minister also plans to expedite the deployment of bodycams for gardaí. Expected legislation to this effect is set to pass soon. The use of this technology is anticipated to be a significant aid in maintaining law and order, providing visual and audio evidence during incidents.
Green Party Reverses Stance on Facial Recognition Technology
In a significant shift, the Green Party has reversed its position on facial recognition technology (FRT). Previously opposed to the use of FRT by gardaí, the party is now prepared to support its use. Their endorsement comes with the caveat that FRT be regulated by a separate piece of legislation, aimed at ensuring safeguards against real-time monitoring of past offenders. This change in stance follows negotiations with Fine Gael, and a commitment to provide adequate safeguards in the new legislation.
The additional powers for gardaí and the use of advanced technology come in response to the increasing instances of violent riots. The move aims to equip the law enforcement with better tools to manage public order and ensure the safety of citizens.