Half of gardaí ‘unable’ to take part in high speed chases

Patrol cars cannot pursue criminals or use sirens where training is absent, says association

Gardaí who lack the required training can only ‘flash their lights, cross their fingers and hope for the best’, says GRA spokesman.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gardaí who lack the required training can only ‘flash their lights, cross their fingers and hope for the best’, says GRA spokesman. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Up to 50 per cent of front line gardaí cannot participate in high speed chases or use sirens because they do not have basic training, according to the Garda Representative Association (GRA).

Spokesman for the organisation John O’Keefe said: “There would be uproar if there was this lack of training in any other profession.”

“We have been asking for this training for three years. There has been no regular training since 2009, it is now ad hoc.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue, this is farcical,” he told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

Mr O’Keefe explained that half of front line staff did not have CBD2 level training. They have CBD1 training (Competency Based Driving) which meant they had to stay within the speed limit and could not use blue lights or sirens. If they wished to pull over a car they had to flash headlights.

“This has knock on implications,” he said.

“The prospect is, if they need to stop a car, they flash their lights, cross their fingers and hope for the best.

“This lack of training is very serious.”

He said the CBD2 training took a number of days and could be completed over a few weeks. The training takes place at the Garda College in Templemore.

Mr O’Keefe noted that the first patrol car that arrived after the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016 had a garda who did not have level CBD2 training and therefore could not pursue criminals.