Originally Posted by An Udaras
I can feel it coming too..
Airport Police are not Guards and I'm in no way implying that, but they do carry the powers of a Police Officer in their own right and that is what I'm trying to get across.
What is that supposed to mean exactly? Perhaps you should define what you consider to be 'powers of a police officer'?
I aint getting into this again, they have a power of detention aka power of arrest for the purpose of holding someone pending garda arrival and also the power to issue an on the spot fine. They dont investigate criminal offences nor do they prosecute criminal offences.
Theres two issues that Udarus glosses over or chooses to ignore:
Byelaw offences in the airport, Dublin city centre, on Motorways etc are not criminal offences and only a Judge can record a criminal conviction against someone. Therefore AP do not initiate criminal cases or find you guilty by issuing you a ticket.
Regardless of having a power to detain someone to issue a ticket, no person be they AP or Gardai are allowed use force to issue a ticket. I hinted at that before but only Garda readers got it so now I will just say it. What a law written in 1988 says and what courts and Judges have since decided are separate things. Again not a dig at AP because it applies to a Garda as well.
AP when utilising their powers will call themselves 'Authorised officers' as that is the wording used in the legislation, they will not use the term 'police' in any official capacity and when a crime is committed its AGS that will cart the criminal away to be put through the Justice system.
Remember, a security guard will 'arrest' a shoplifter, detain them in a detention area within the restricted area of the shop and may ask them questions, dont make em police officers does it?
In regards the air navigation act, it specifies AP for certain roles however there is also ample powers for normal citizens to also perform 90% of the same arrests, etc. You don't need to be an AP or a Garda to stop an armed robbery or someone wielding a rocket launcher or in fact a drug dealer (but I would not recommend doing any of that for various reasons). They also tellingly, are not connected to the 999 system.
So what do I personally think of the AP? I think they are people performing a task utilising powers marginally higher than that of any other security guard in the land. I think they by and large have good equipment and are trained for their roles which puts them that step ahead of your average security guard. Cuffs being carried is a good example. I am led to believe that the fire brigade within the airport are also well stocked and trained to perform their role. I think that its the fanboys who start AP V AGS arguements and not in fact the AP themselves who know their role similar in a way to the way that soldiers and Gardai rarely decide to have pissing contests because they both know their own and each others positions and responsibilities.
That said, I think a fully fledged airport or transport police would be a better option but ultimately I think having the airports policed by AGS fully would be ideal instead of the confusing mess we have now. Lord knows there is enough former AP people in AGS to staff it straight away.