Gardaí need better self-defence training to respond to violent incidents, according to the Garda Representative Association.
New figures released to Newstalk show that 243 Gardaí were injured in assaults while on duty last year.
The Freedom of Information figures highlight a 9% increase on the previous year.
The injuries reported last year include 22 bone fractures or dislocations and 15 open wounds.
Four Gardaí suffered multiple serious injuries.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Garda Representative Association (GRA) Vice President Brendan O’Connor said more needs to be done to prepare Gardaí for violent situations.
“We have gardaí often given your basic self-defence training in Templemore and you might never get any more self-defence training,” he said.
“You get a bit of training in your ASP and your baton, supposedly every three years, but that has actually been allowed to run out.
“The authorities say that is due to the pandemic, but this is a problem prior to the pandemic so we don’t believe enough is being done because Gardaí should be better trained and better equipped to deal with these situations.”
Mr O’Connor said the GRA was not surprised at the figures but is “very concerned” about them.
He suggested they may not reflect the total number of attacks on Garda members.
“Those figures reflect injury,” he said. “There are a lot of assaults where our members just carry on with their duty with maybe minor cuts, grazes and bruises.
“So, this is not even reflecting the full number of injuries on duty.”
He said it is up to Garda management to ensure members on the front line are adequately protected.
“Policing is a very dangerous profession and members who are on the front line or indeed in specialist roles are just facing real unpredictability,” he said.
“They can be visited with violent attack at any time day or night in any location, rural or urban. It is just very unpredictable, and we believe there is an onus on our employer to provide the best protection possible for our employers.”
Some 58 of last year's assaults were in Dublin, 27 were in Cork, 17 in Tipperary and 16 in Limerick.
With reporting from Eoghan Murphy