Increased advanced driver training is needed for Gardaí to allow members to use blue lights and sirens, according to issues raised at the Garda Representative Association.
Taxi drivers are currently more qualified to drive through Dublin’s busiest streets, according to the Sunday Independent.
Just two out of 22 detectives based in Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin have undertaken advanced driver training courses — meaning taxi drivers can get around the city quicker than some armed Gardaí in what is one of the busiest policing districts in the capital.
The issue was raised last week at the annual Garda Representative Association (GRA) in Westport, Co. Mayo.
Officers attached to the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) South Central Division explained that some detectives find it easier to walk to crime scenes instead of using a car.
They're appealing for new rules and better access to training as quickly as possible.
Gardaí who complete a one-day Competency Based Driver (CBD) Level 1 assessment may drive patrol cars — but they have to sign a document promising not to exceed the speed limit at any time, and that they will not turn on their sirens or flashing lights.
CBD2 is the higher qualification which allows garda members to pursue vehicles at high speeds, use the sirens and turn on the flashing blue lights, as well as access taxi lanes.
Gardaí from the DMR South Central Division are calling on the Garda Commissioner to address the “urgent lack of adequately trained garda drivers”.
They asked that future policies allow CBD1 drivers to utilise blue lights and sirens in certain circumstances and be “indemnified” by the State Claims Agency in the event of any collision.
An independent GRA survey found that 71% of people do no think Gardaí are adequately covered and supported by the Government.
A futher 83% said they would like to see more Gardaí on the street.
The survey was conducted by Amárach.