Updated: 10/04/17 : 06:24:04
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Sligo gardaí call for hi-vis clothing for pedestrians and cyclists

A call for new legislation to make compulsory hi-vis clothing for pedestrians and cyclists has been tabled by sergeants and inspectors from the Sligo-Leitrim division for debate at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) annual delegate conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, which gets under way today, Monday.

The idea has received a mixed response from delegates arriving for the conference with Dublin colleagues from DMR South Central saying that while they do not want the hi-vis clothing for pedestrians, they are seeking it and helmets to be made compulsory for cyclists.

The Road Safety Authority has already dismissed the idea that all pedestrians be forced to wear hi-vis clothing, saying the Republic was “not a police state”.

Other points of discussion is banning the photographing or videoing Garda members without their consent and then sharing the images online in a way that identifies them. This should be criminalised, Garda sergeants and inspectors believe.

Agsi and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) have both previously said their members were being videoed, sometimes for hours, while being taunted in the hope it would provoke a reaction.

The associations believe very selective segments of video were then published, leading to the members being identified by social media users.

Garda sources with experience of policing protests aimed at blocking the installation of water meters, for example, believe certain members of the force were selected for targeting repeatedly, both online and when policing a protest.

Agsi members from the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) West division have proposed the motion seeking the creation of a new criminal offence in this area.

Their colleagues in Mayo want Agsi to lobby Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to extend more protections from online harassment to the members of the force.

Delegates from the Donegal division are calling for better storage facilities in Garda stations for evidence exhibits.