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View Poll Results: Which is the best?
Garda (Republic of Ireland) 16 16.33%
PSNI (Northern Ireland) 7 7.14%
London MET 27 27.55%
French 2 2.04%
Italian 9 9.18%
spanish 3 3.06%
Russian 1 1.02%
NYPD 23 23.47%
Australia 7 7.14%
Brazilian 0 0%
Greek 1 1.02%
Austrian 0 0%
Russian 0 0%
Japanese 0 0%
South African 0 0%
Other (Please post image) 2 2.04%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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20-05-2008, 16:27   #16
Eru
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Originally Posted by itsallaboutheL View Post
I want to be one of those italians, however, somehow i'd say you'd hesitate before asking them for directions to o'connell street! not exactly approachable looking.
Actually very approachable and community orientated. The caribiniari
are well thought of in Italy and spend more time doing community work than actual policing (remembering that Italy has about 10 different police forces).

Probable because they are military police they are not used to investigate crime to the same measure as the various others. When I was there they seemed to be around a lot of tourist spots and doing guard duty on buildings etc as apposed to standard patrolling.
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20-05-2008, 22:39   #17
metman
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NYPD for me. I like how the NYPD arrange their uniform setup; basically you buy your own kit. They have a number of licensed tailors that only warranted officers can get into and buy from on production of their warrant cards. With this in mind they can purchase a whole range of badged gear from polar necks, to tunics, combat trousers to sewn-in creases and bomber jackets to anoraks. This is why very few officers actually look the same when you examine their uniform closely. I like it. Especially the polar neck and bomber jacket.

Our uniform in the UK is reasonably good, but it could be better.
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20-05-2008, 23:07   #18
jayj224
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For me this looks like the most comfortable way to patrol
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21-05-2008, 08:13   #19
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Most of those pictures are of functional uniforms and not what would be worn on standard patrols so as a result have little relevance. You might as well put the picture which Wikipedia has for the Garda ERU. I didn't say it IS the ERU, Karl.

The Italian police I have witnessed in the past have been in light blue uniforms, driving light blue Fiat Puntos with Policia written on the side.
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21-05-2008, 15:13   #20
Eru
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Originally Posted by PRND View Post
Most of those pictures are of functional uniforms and not what would be worn on standard patrols so as a result have little relevance. You might as well put the picture which Wikipedia has for the Garda ERU. I didn't say it IS the ERU, Karl.

The Italian police I have witnessed in the past have been in light blue uniforms, driving light blue Fiat Puntos with Policia written on the side.

Thats Policia Municipal which is like a town sheriff in the US or Local police in Spain. This IS what the caribinari wear minus the pads which is public order / riot wear.

So in fact most of the pictures are of entirely normal operational uniform. Oz is obviously riot as well but its not as easy as you think to get decent pics of police. In fact, only the Oz uniform is not standard so your completely wrong now that I think of it.

Please also remember that most countries have multiple police forces on the go but I am limited to 15 pictures and was conscience of bandwidth.

Last edited by Eru; 21-05-2008 at 15:16.
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21-05-2008, 15:26   #21
Shield
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PRND infracted and banned for one week for trying to stir things up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRND View Post
Most of those pictures are of functional uniforms and not what would be worn on standard patrols so as a result have little relevance. You might as well put the picture which Wikipedia has for the Garda ERU. I didn't say it IS the ERU, Karl.

The Italian police I have witnessed in the past have been in light blue uniforms, driving light blue Fiat Puntos with Policia written on the side.
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21-05-2008, 16:14   #22
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Most of those Carabineri chaps I saw in Rome were not wearing that "tactical" looking uniform in those pics. They were dressed in a more conventional tunic and pants set-up, but this was around some of the tourist landmarks. There was also some public demonstration against something or other and the Carabineri's were out in force and wearing the "tacticool" stuff !!!

Just an FYI, in the US, a Sheriff is a county officer, not a municipal officer, so not quite like the Italian municipal police.

Unfortunately the Garda bosses have not taken their heads out of their arses and looked around at what is available for functional uniforms. The latest issue is just terrible, but I suppose anything is an improvement on what was being worn...unpracticable, uncomfortable, shabbily made, etc. When the first issue of the goretex patrol jackets came about in the early 90's a lot of the bosses had heart attacks and refused to let their guys wear them, because they didn't think they "looked smart." Better the lads on patrol suffer in World War One style greatcoats !!!

I think for practical uniforms it's hard to beat some of the USA forces. US police may not get everything right, but uniforms is one area that they certainly could teach the Gardai a thing or two. But it must be remembered that some of the US forces are operating in climates that can range from extreme cold to extreme heat. Some Midwest cities in the US can range from over 20 degrees below in winter, to over 100 degrees F in summer. Unsuitable clothing/uniforms could be fatal for officers operating in those weather conditions.

Of course, all this praise from US police uniforms absolutely excludes the New Jersey State Police stuff...just google it...you'll gouge your eyes out !!!
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21-05-2008, 17:59   #23
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Anything bar the Garda Uniform. It was looking well with just the Bomber Jacket and trousers until the introduction of a stab vest which doesn't match the Jacket and the Hi-Vis that is loose, cumbersome and not exactly Hi-Vis!

Edit: I could go on about the shabby quality, poor fitting of every other article but that's going down a bad, long and old road.
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21-05-2008, 18:50   #24
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i got to say i like te NYPD then it the met. i seen the PSNI one up close, i like it but the colour is just so so so so wrong, bottle green, i hope to be wearing it soon and cant wait just wish the colour was different
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21-05-2008, 22:03   #25
tintin
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Met uniform looks pretty good. I like the style of their stab vests, looks better than all those mules you see with theirs half open and shirts/bellys hanging out of them!!! Driving is a complete pain in the arse with the tie sticking into your neck!
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21-05-2008, 22:09   #26
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NYPD would be my first pref, followed by a Met uniform.
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21-05-2008, 22:10   #27
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In my opinion, the uniform of a police service should reflect the (i) demands of their role, (ii) the cultural/societal and political climate in which they operate and (iii) the ethos by which they operate.

With this in mind, I feel the uniform of an Garda Siochana (AGS) fulfills these criteria. AGS is an unarmed police force that relies heavily on the support of the community in the commissioning of its duties. That serving members apear professional and approachable is of paramount importance to ensure that such support is given.

If, for instance, regular members wore DPMs and berets or basecaps, then community support would likely fall. Yes, they would give the appearance of being more tactical and better equipped to combat crime. However, they would also excavate the recently buried memories of the paramilitary styled and army backed policing operation conducted in the North by the RUC during the troubles. This would only serve to alienate the public and damage community support of An Garda.

The Southern Public reacted with horror to every killing (justifiable or otherwise) of Catholics in the North by the RUC. For decades, this has recognised by the Government and Garda Management. I would be of the opinion that it is also the reason that AGS has remained unarmed. It is also the reason baton rounds are not in the arsenal of Garda Public Oder Units. They were responsible for the deaths of seventeen cicilians during the troubles (including an eleven year old boy).

Indeed, the Irish public has not been very supportive of AGS in the aftermath of incidents where suspects were killed. One barricade incident and one attempted robbery that resulted in the deaths of a total of three men have recieved large quantities of media coverage, have resulted in one tribunal and have damaged public support. I have purposely omitted the relevant details of both incidents.

For these reasons, I don't feel comparisons can be made between the uniforms of different jurisdictions. However, I feel that of AGS is effective in its purpose.

It should also be noted that many of the images shown do not depict the regular uniform of the agencies shown. For instance, the London Met does not issue Hecklar & Koch MP5s to all of its members. The Australian police do not routinely wear riot gear. As I'm sure you're all aware, AGS has at its constant disposal specialist elements that can be deployed when needed that have uniforms that better suit their needs.

Bearing in mind that Ireland is a very small jurisdiction (i.e., there are more law enforcment agencies in the United States than members of An Garda in Ireland), the organisational layout appears effective also. If I could make one suggestion, it would be that specialist units be made more regionally diverse, rather than operating mainly from Garda HQ. Having an ERU team with specific duties in the South West region, for instance, would afford a faster response and better on-site appraisal of a situation due to an enhanced knowledge of the area of operations by members.

I cannot comment on the durability or comfort of the regular Garda uniform. Nor can I comment on how it might limit members' abilities, for example, in the pursuit of a suspect.

However, in closing, I would like you all to consider the following:

If individuals in authority present themselves in a manner that indiactes a readiness to deal swiftly with a physical threat, are they not by extension presenting themselves in a hostile manner? Finally, is there not a chance that in doing so, this might have a violence escalating effect on an otherwise non-subversie public?
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21-05-2008, 23:05   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc-panda View Post
Indeed, the Irish public has not been very supportive of AGS in the aftermath of incidents where suspects were killed. One barricade incident and one attempted robbery that resulted in the deaths of a total of three men have recieved large quantities of media coverage, have resulted in one tribunal and have damaged public support. I have purposely omitted the relevant details of both incidents.
That's not entirely true. I agree to certain extent with Abbelayra, but in case of Lusk I think that the general feeling was "live by the sword, die by the sword". Not to look far see here:

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=260570&highlight=lusk+%2B+garda+%2B+shooting

Even with Abbelayra, more people had a problem with the events leading to the shooting rather than the shooting itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mc-panda View Post
With this in mind, I feel the uniform of an Garda Siochana (AGS) fulfills these criteria. AGS is an unarmed police force that relies heavily on the support of the community in the commissioning of its duties. That serving members apear professional and approachable is of paramount importance to ensure that such support is given.
You are making your point well, I don't agree with it though.

To appear proffesional and approachable is important, but I believe safety of the gardai is important even more. Just last year two guards were shot on two separate occasions. Also, the importance of comfort shouldn't be underestimated - remember that the policemen work long shifts, in all kind of weather, in all kind of situations, very often risking their health and lives. I don't think that it's too much to expect the gear they are issued with to be up to the job, same way the members themselves are expected to be.

I'm not a guard myself, but I have interest in the subject, and from what I can gather, currently it's not the case.

Last edited by Shield; 22-05-2008 at 02:49. Reason: Fixing broken link
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22-05-2008, 00:01   #29
eroo
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The days of Gardai getting respect because they look respectable are long gone.
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22-05-2008, 00:42   #30
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I take your point that Gardai work long shifts in all weather conditions. I also acknowledge that the uniform is unlikely to facilitate the rigourous physical demands that can be placed on members. However, I stand firm that community support is the most effective weapon that the Gardai can ever have. I also feel strongly that this would only be depleted by "militarising" uniforms. Thus, t-shirts and combat trousers get a thumbs down from my corner.

I'll concede that certain aspects are comical and should be taken out of service; such as the tie. I can only assume (and hope) that it is a clip-on, as otherwise it would be dangerous, offering considerable leverage to a suspect to cause harm during a struggle.

I recognise the dangers that Gardai face every day with regards gun-crime, and without attempting to play down the significance of recorded incidents as a whole and on the individual, I would advise that statistically, the Gardai are relatively safe in this arena. Comparble figures from abroad (such as the United States) are much more frightening. Below, I listed two reasons which I believe account (at least in part) for this:

1) As an unarmed police force, An Garda Siochana presents a low level of threat to the physical integrity of an armed criminal. Thus, unless said criminal has psychopathic tendencies and is devoid from emotion and conscience, it is unlikely that s/he would depress a trigger to evade aprehension. Coupled with the current state of sentencing within the criminal justice system, an armed robber might sooner surrender to arrest and recieve 5 years (to serve 2) than shoot a Garda and recieve 15 (to serve 10).

2) There is clearly a cultural difference with regards guns between both jurisdictions.

Thus, I would argue that arming Gardai would not result in increased personal or public safety. Rather, the opposite. Also, it's worth noting that merely arming the Gardai would not consequent a decrease in the now spiralling gang related gun crime. A Garda would have to be present at a scene to intervene; armed or otherwise.

With regards to ballistic vests: Yes, they would certainly offer better protection from gun shots. However, they would only offer protection from smaller rounds such as a 9mm parabellum. Most balistic vests do not offer adequate protection from say the larger 5.56 or 7.62 calibre varieties. The latter is of greater concern given it's longer range, larger stopping power and the fact that the majority of residual weapons from the troubles operate with it (i.e., Kalashnikov assault rifles). In any case, a trade off must be seen also. Ballistic vests require much heavier slabs than stab-proof ones. Thus, a Garda's mobility would be impaired further, to the detriment of comfort and efficacy.

If we want to increase the safety of Gardai on the street, then training facilities for serving members within the organisation needs to be adequate. My understanding is that this is currently not the case. I would still argue for regional deployment of ERU styled teams. I would further argue that members of the DDU be obliged to attend national training that would afford them the tactical capabilities to act effectively in high risk situations where the arival of the ERU cannot be waited for (i.e., hostage taking incidents where the suspect(s) begins killing his/her captors). I imagine this would not be incredibly resource intensive or difficult to organise.

OTHER WAYS TO INCREASE SAFETY WITHOUT ARMING UNIFORMED MEMBERS:

1) I would have no objections to the use of C0 gases in critical incidents.
2) I would have no objections to the use of TASERS.

(Both would have to be accompanied by appropriate training in first aid)

3) Lookin to the MET, (If I'm wrong, please tell me), uniformed officers generally do not carry weapons. However, they can. Met vehicles with diagonal markings denote armed police who can be called for assistance when needed. We could learn from this. Adopting a similar system, "On-the-beat" Gardai could remain unarmed. However, appropriately qualified Gardai could have access to weaponry secured in the boot of a vehicle. However, to have any uniformed Garda carrying "on-th-hip", so to speak, would have disatrous consequences in my opinion.


As for Abbeylara and Lusk, I do not feel it appropriate to discuss same in a public nature given their contentious nature and tragic outcomes.

Finally, I stress that I do not underplay the seriousness of every incident where a member of AGS has been injured or killed, by gun or otherwise. I commend their bravery.

As the man said, "evil prevails when good men fail to act".
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