Cork city gardaí record highest use of force nationally in recent months

Cork city gardaí record highest use of force nationally in recent months

Among the incidents was on Oliver Plunkett Street in the early hours of January 28 when gardaí were responding to a public order incident.

GARDAÍ in Cork city have made the most use of force in the country in recent months, according to a report by the Garda Commissioner.

Among the incidents was on Oliver Plunkett Street in the early hours of January 28 when gardaí were responding to a public order incident.

Pepper spray was deployed when a person failed to comply with gardaí as he was being arrested.

In his February report to the Policing Authority, Commissioner Drew Harris said there were 70 incidents across the country in January in which force such as Taser, incapacitant spray (pepper spray), batons and firearms were used. 12% of those were in Cork city, he said.

Meanwhile, incidents in Cork North accounted for 4% of cases where force was used, while Cork West had just 1% of such cases.

The report said: “The types of incidents in which there was a use of force has also remained quite consistent. Public order incidents/drug related incidents and traffic related incidents accounted for the top three types of incidents in which there was a use of force in January 2021. Public order incidents and drug related incidents were also in the top three in December 2020.

“Cork City again recorded the highest levels of force use, at 12%. The DMR South Central, which traditionally had the highest levels of force use, has dropped below a number of other Divisions for the first time in over 16 months.”

 In December, Cork city also had the highest use of force in the country – at 14%.

According to Commissioner Harris, the use of force decreased in January, from 117 cases nationally in December.

The report outlined: “The use of incapacitant spray has seen a noticeable decrease, with 56 uses in January 2021, compared with 87 uses in December 2020. The use of batons has also seen a noticeable decrease with 10 uses in January 2021, compared with 26 uses in December 2020. The use of Taser has again remained steady with a slight decrease, with two uses in January 2021, compared with three uses in December 2020.” 

He revealed there were two incidents in which a firearm was discharged in January by gardaí but did not reveal where the incidents occurred.

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