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19-10-2016, 13:08   #31
EndaHonesty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tow View Post
Is it true you can retire at 55 on a full pension?
It's not based on age. After 30 years of service you can retire on full index-linked pension.

Qualify at 23, retire at 53.
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19-10-2016, 13:18   #32
I'm a Garda, AMA
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Just to clarify first, I am no longer a serving member, having resigned in the last few months for a number of reasons. I'm doing this AMA to hopefully give people a better understanding that members of AGS are just people too. And sorry to bold this, but: And this is all just my opinion, and does not represent the views of AGS as an organization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enda1 View Post
Hi, thanks for doing this AMA.

What is the best and worst part of the job?
Best Part: Simply, the colleagues. I have made some really strong friendships, and in a job like this, you need not just colleagues beside you, you need friends who will do anything to help protect you.

Worst: For me, the lack of acknowledgement of having done a good job. Yes, it is our job to investigate, and we shouldn't be thanked for that. But if we go over and above, which we do on nearly every case, a small acknowledgement wouldn't go astray. To give a quick example, myself and a couple of colleagues saved 6 people from a building on fire. They were all asleep. A similar incident happened in another part of the country, and those members got medals (we're not supposed to go into burning buildings). We got given out to. It's inconsistent across the force, and while efforts are being made to rectify that, it was too little too late in my case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D0NNELLY View Post
approx how long have you been serving?
is it what you thought it would be like?
I had done under 10 years. It's already a very different job to when I joined, and the now retired members say that it's a shadow of what it formally was, for better and for worse. I honestly did not know what it was like. No one ever prepared me for the amount of paperwork. Stupidly, I thought it might have been something like on tv, investigating, catching the bad guys and sending them to jail. It's a lot more formal. The rules and law can be stifling, hindering and sometimes just doesn't work. No time to investigate but increased workloads are the issues here now. A simple straight forward burglary file can take months to fully investigate now because the time is no longer there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLaDOS View Post
Have you ever been assaulted on the job?

Have you ever witnessed anything that could be described as corruption in the force?
Assaulted: Yes. A few times. Thankfully, nothing too serious. But the lack of prosecution under the correct law is a factor in my decision to leave. There's a very specific section for assaults on members of emergency personnel. Section 19 of the Public Order Act, but it rarely gets used for some unknown reason.

Corruption: A dodgy one to answer on here. There is corruption in every job in every walk of life. The deli worker stealing a sausage, painters doing nixxers for the friends, all these are very slight examples of corruption within those sectors. Is cancelling a ticket corruption? According to the media and a lot of the public, yes. But, I've never cancelled a ticket, because even before the whole ticket "scandal" no one below the rank of inspector could cancel them. So I've never witnessed the actual act of having tickets cancelled. I've known of a few, one I issued personally to a GAA star. But that's the most I've personally witnessed. I've heard the stories, but I've never been part of anything like that (the reasons for all the tribunals). I was based somewhere far away from all that, so again, this is my opinion, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've not witnessed anything, thankfully.

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Originally Posted by ads20101 View Post
Are you concerned about the increase in gun use amongst the criminal fraternity, and do you feel that policing in Ireland would be safer if the Guards were armed themselves?
Definitely concerned. No one ever expected something like what happened to D/Gda Donohue. I didn't know him personally, or even have heard of him prior to that incident. But it genuinely hit me hard. It's a strange feeling, one you only get in jobs like these where someone who does the same job as you, but whom you don't know, gets brutally murdered in the line of duty. You feel for him, his family, friends and colleagues like you don't for others. It sent the reality of the job to the forefront of my mind, and I shed some tears. The reality that it could have been me, as it was just so random and unexpected, it left a scar. It made me way more cautious, and I can understand why the American police are so trigger happy. If gun crime was a rife here, i'd definitely be cautious the whole time, knowing that this simple traffic stop could be the end.

As for the arming. Historically, AGS is lauded for being an unarmed police force. According to some reports, we're the second best police force in the world, and this is mainly due to unarmed policing (Iceland getting the No. 1 spot). Changing this would radically change the force as a whole. I think we definitely need more armed Gardaí, but it can't come from the current workforce without them being replaced. I don't think we need more routinely armed Gardaí, but we definitely need more armed response.

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Originally Posted by The Backwards Man View Post
If you were in hot pursuit and the Duke boys jumped a creek would you try and jump it too?
Good question! I'd chance it in an Avensis or Mondeo, not in a Hyundai though.... it would probably tear apart mid air!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sullivlo View Post
1: Are you stationed near where you grew up or are you close by?

2: Are there any things that you would change about the role?

3: Would you like to be armed?

4: If you had to choose another member of the emergency service to be a part of, which would you choose?

5: Do you have the power to stop a cyclist who breaks red lights?

Thanks for this btw - it should be super interesting!
1: I was at least 2 hours away, another part of my decision to leave.

2: I would like to see members acknowledged more for their work. The job has changed dramatically, and it's an extremely thankless job. It's amazing how a little "well done" can keep your spirits up. Start there, get more Gardaí on the street, and it'll be a good start, but still a long ways to go.

3: Personally, I think I would feel safer if I was armed. I have a respect for firearms. I had 5+ years in the FCA/RDF which included 2 promotions, so I know my way around most of them. I know a few Gardaí who hate guns, and would never want to be armed. The force is a long way away from routinely armed Gardaí. Tazers though, they should be standard at this stage.

4: The army. Should have just continued with my FCA career. Plus, I would have had half my service done at this stage! Outside of the army, I don't think i'd want to be in any other frontline emergency role. They're all very thankless, and the work of paramedics, firemen/women, doctors, nurses, as tough as my job was, theirs is very different, and I couldn't even imagine myself doing what they do.

5: Yes, we do. But realistically, if it does happen, it's usually when the patrol car is on the way to another call. It's then a game of which is more serious, the call or the cyclist. This is one of the hard parts of the job. Continue on to the person who probably has already been waiting over an hour, or stop this cyclist and potentially be another half hour dealing with them (you'd be surprised by how long a simple traffic stop can take). It all boils back down to numbers, and the force simple doesn't have enough at the moment for to be able to do everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblypop View Post
What rank are you?
How much service have you?
Are you attached to the regular or specialist unit?
Nearly 10 years, Garda rank, regular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregorym2 View Post
can you speak Irish?
I'd know a few words, but in general, no. I could hold a very basic conversation, but i'd be useless in the Gaeltacht. Unsurprisingly, those with excellent Irish skills are usually sent to those areas anyway, and more who are sent there would be from near there. I don't see the need for it. If someone wishes to exercise their right to be spoken to in Irish, there are procedures in place for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EndaHonesty View Post
How long have you been a Garda?
Nearly 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IamtheWalrus View Post
Have you witnessed any sexism in the force?
Roughly the same amount I experience in every day life. It used to be a thing (apparently). It wasn't when I joined. Women were already well established in the force. There were always the die hards who still think they shouldn't be in the job, for numerous reasons both understandable and down right wrong. But I haven't witnessed any blatant sexism towards any group. Bad taste jokes though, well, they're nearly a staple of the job!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ED E View Post
Is it a common opinion/MO among rank and.file Gardai that minor traffic offences are not worth the time? Do any gardai believe in broken window theory for our roads?

What would you say to the idea of removing garda discretion (you witness an offence you must act)?
It's not that their not worth the time, it's a juggle of time. I can guarantee you that every frontline Garda has a large number of investigations to do. The new recruits can't believe how busy it is, and while for the last 5 years it's become the norm, the introduction of the newbies and their genuine shock at the amount of files one can get in even just 1 day reminds us how busy we are. I can't just come out and say that work is ignored. I wouldn't anyway. But is there a juggling act? Yes. Time, like pens, are precious in AGS. Victimless crimes can be at the bottom of the decision making. But crimes with victims should be investigated. The newbies are making a change to that. They want to look good for management, so they will usually jump on anything they witness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usernemises View Post
Is Nepotism still as bad as it used to be? My cousin is a garda and he told me a few years ago not to bother applying unless I knew a high ranking garda or a td, surely he was joking.
It is known among Gardaí that those with "pull" will usually get what they want over someone with no "pull". I've seen it. It sucks. It's wrong and it shouldn't happen, but it's not rampant (well, in my region anyway). I'm the first in my family in the Guards. I didn't know anyone in the job prior to that. Maybe having that pull might have changed the outcome of my situation. But I think it's becoming a thing of the past. Transfers and the like are now being handled by civilians. This should stop all that for transfers anyway (where it mainly happens).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usernemises View Post
Also do you think drugs should be legalised? How much of your time is spent dealing with drug dealers/ users
Just to reiterate, this is my personal opinion (now as a civilian). Some drugs should be legalized. I believe we should be following our European counterparts and at least legalise cannabis. Not only would it stop the rampant illegal cannabis trade, the medicinal sides of it cannot be ignored at this stage. There is a lot of effort put into cannabis crackdown, and I think that time could be better spent elsewhere. Cannabis, heroin and I think something else was supposed to be decriminalized this year. That's a start.

I haven't personally spent a lot of time investigating drugs offences. I've done my share, but it wasn't a weekly thing for me. The drugs units were always busy though. Sometimes we'd be required to assist with searches, and it's mainly cannabis. But I think the harder drugs should be the focus, and legalizing cannabis would take a large chunk out of criminals income. It's nearly their bread and butter. People will continue to use cannabis regardless, and legalizing it would not only take it out of the dealers hands, but it would make it safer in general to consume. And people call it a gateway drug, well, that's only because in order to get it, you need to go to a drug dealer, who usually knows someone who can get the harder stuff. You wouldn't get that in dispensaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisha View Post
1: Do you find it upsetting/disheartening/disgusting when a conviction fails to secure a proper sentence? Do you ever feel left down by the judiciary?

2: What do you think should happen to people with 40+ convictions ?

3: Does prison offer any rehabilitation at all?

4: What advice would you give parents of teens to keep them on the straight And narrow ?

I seriously don't know how how ye do the job, especially when yere pay and conditions are less than ideal.
Thank you for all that you do .
1: All three. It was a major factor in my decision to leave. A lot of members will tell you, your job is to get them to court, you shouldn't care after that. But it hit home early in my career where we brought a convicted burglar to prison. Numerous convictions, mostly for burglary. We dropped him off a the prison, and made our way back to our own District, a few hours away. As we were driving back in, there's pal walking back from the train station. That hurt. All the effort of numerous Gardaí gone to waste because there's no room for "low risk" (yeah...) offenders who then get released on bail. It really put me off the job. But mainly it put me off when colleagues who had been assaulted get no outcome.

2: I personally believe that they've more than had their chance. I don't think anyone with even 10 convictions should be walking the streets. That's the problem today, overcrowding in prisons means it's impossible to put away everyone who commits an indictable crime. This country badly needs another prisoner. Preferably reopen Spike Island and leave it for the most dangerous ones. Keep the other prisoners free them for repeat "non-violent" offenders (ie: burglars). Criminals know that the likelihood of being sent down for any decent amount of time is unlikely (depending on the crime). Nearly all the repeat offenders know this, and this keeps them repeating in my opinion.

3: I genuinely don't know. The job is unique in so far as if someone stops committing crime, we don't hear from them anymore. It's hard to tell if life decisions or prison caused that. I do believe we should be looking to other countries and how they rehabilitate, but our issue first is that there is still no deterrent.

4: That's a hard one. I don't have kids of my own, so it's hard to tell someone who does what to do. It often gets thrown back at me when parents find out, because they think I don't know what i'm talking about. Any maybe I don't. I can only give advice from what I've seen, and I think it boils down to time. I believe that some parents are not spending enough time with their children, for a number of reasons. Daily dinner was a family event in my house growing up, and I believe that helps create a bond which children are less likely to break, as they care. But try and tell that to Mary with 3 criminal sons who genuinely doesn't know what to do. I find those situations very hard, I'm not a counsellor or psychologist, even though the job expects us to be... There is no hard fast answer to that, every situation requires a different approach. But maybe, get more involved in their lives, and see what drives them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The flying mouse View Post
Are there any nogo areas in Ireland for the guards, or at least areas where you would not be welcome.

Halting sites.
Ballyfermot.
some parts of finglas.
southill,
inner cities
moyross
There's no such thing as a no go area, but there are certainly areas you wouldn't go by yourself. Halting sites, depending on the occupants, I wouldn't have gone by myself, or even without at least 3 colleagues. I'm not generalizing, but if they're a "good" traveler, we don't deal with them. And that's just an example, the most obvious one to me. There are others areas where you wouldn't go without backup, but it varies from division to division, so I can't say in general this is the way it is. And to be honest, we're not welcome most places. I was involved in a situation where 4 patrol cars were being bottled and hit by rocks while driving through an estate. A prolonged crackdown stopped that quickly enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dulpit View Post
Hey,

I've heard loads of stories about "police brutality", or stories of how people were "clobbered" after being arrested. But I know a small number of guards and they don't strike me as being that sort of person. Does it happen in your experience?
I've heard the stories. The job has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. It was a time when the local Garda would clobber the criminal, and while it was wrong, it did appear effective at the time. And around the time of my parents being in school, corporal punishment seemed to be the norm. my mother had a bamboo pole broke off her arm in school, but that was the way it was then. The same appeared to carry through to the Gardaí. It was wrong, no doubt, but it is a thought that crosses my mind throughout the years that a good hammering would sort pal out. But it probably wouldn't. I say probably, because I know of one ex-Garda who was thanked by an up-until-then career criminal whom that Garda hammered while coming out of a house that pal broke into one night. That lad said the beating changed his life for the better. It's hard to call. Some criminals seem to only understand beatings, because that's the way they were brought up. It's hard to use the PC softly softly approach on them. And with the popularity and abundance of camera phones around, every Garda is second guessing their actions, because they don't want to be the next Garda investigated for "brutality". It's a fine line between use of force and assault, and with hindsight, that line moves.

When they changed the rules for entry, smaller Guards was now a thing. Obviously, they would be less likely to be like the older Guards because they simply may not have the strength. But the "brutality" days are long gone, PC policing is the norm now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The flying mouse View Post
Does community policing work ?

how would you better use the guards in improving relationships in said communities as its more or less the same areas same communities that seems where a lot of the gangs/trouble/no respect come from, Thanks.
Yes, CP does work. But it only works when there's sufficient resources available. CP became the backbone of the Gardaí when it was introduced, because the Guards were moving away from "the local Garda" to increased numbers and less personalization. This was due to an increase in population. There was a time that the local Garda would know everyone in the town. Now, towns are too big for that, and rural communities are being left without a Garda because of a reduction in numbers. It's creeping back, but will take years to get back to what it was. It's all down to money. Back pre-recession, the money and numbers were there, but both are gone so CP - which spent it's time between investigation and involvement - was decimated as the numbers were more urgently needed to investigate. Hopefully it goes the other way, as it does work. The Gardaí can make cases on the information of the locals alone. Without proper involvement with the community, they are less likely to trust us, and thus are less likely to pass on information. By engaging with these communities, they may assist more, knowing that the CP Gardaí actually do care about the communities (not just anyone gets picked to be in CP). it's all about trust, and unfortunately trust is easy to lose and hard to regain, and we're in the regain part right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The flying mouse View Post
When I was growing up getting (70s80s)a few scalps of a guard was a normal part of life, Didn't do me any harm.


Would you think a few scalps nowadays would be better in dealing with some of the youngsters nowadays than bringing them through the courts ?
It appeared effective back then, and it was the norm in every authorative walk of life. Did I sometimes think that a few belts would be better suited? Yes. But I didn't act on it, as much as one would want to. It's not worth taking the chance of being sent to jail for giving a career criminal a few belts. The courts system needs a radical overhaul in my opinion, I don't think it's working. But I believe that would all start with a new prison. The courts can't send people to prison if there's no room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatter View Post
What loophole within the law frustrates you the most to see people taking advantage of?

Or another way of phrasing the question: What is the most common type of circumstance you come across where you feel you should be able to take action but your hands are tied and you're powerless to do anything?
Good question. There's a lot of the law that frustrates me. But to be specific to your question, it's in court. It's when pal gets his solicitor to give the sob back-story, which you know to be bull, but you can't say anything. it's when pal is being described as someone with low self esteem due to a "bad upbringing", when you know he's laughing his ar$e off at us. To quote the magnificent The Young Offenders: "It's like they don't think our brains are developed enough or something". "Spastics". The law is too soft on someone with a sob story. Nothing excuses breaking the law. If someone broke into my house, or assaulted me, I couldn't give 2 continental f's that he had a bad upbringing. That doesn't excuse robbing my stuff or boxing me in the face. But, as you said, we're powerless when it comes to this part. We know the facts, but we can't say anything at that stage, as the case is over.
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19-10-2016, 13:22   #33
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What's your favourite interrogation technique to get information out of suspects. Physiologically speaking are you good cop or bad cop?

Still use the auld beat them to a pulp with the phone book?

Last edited by iLikeWaffles; 19-10-2016 at 13:31.
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19-10-2016, 13:30   #34
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Would you have worked with the police in NI/UK or European agencies or internationally (even for training) ? If so, what was the experience like (easy to get on with, their perceptions, etc) and if not, would you have liked to?

I was watching an episode of Fraiser last night, from Season 2 where Martin Crane (a cop for 30 years, retired) finally solves an unsolved murder after 20 years. Did you ever see yourself in that sort of position? Would it be common for retired Gardai to be pre-occupied with an unsolved case?
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19-10-2016, 13:31   #35
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I am correct in thinking that Garda training takes place in Templemore, or has that changed? Is it only field training or is it written exams as well? How long does training last and is it one bout of training and you're done, or are there different levels of training? If you suffer an illness mid-training and have to step away, once you recover do you have to start over or can you pick up where you left off?
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19-10-2016, 13:33   #36
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What's it feel like to be a civilian again, have you noticed any difference in how you view situations or how people act around you?
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19-10-2016, 13:38   #37
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What was the straw that broke the camel's back?
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19-10-2016, 13:48   #38
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Ever get any free stuff?
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19-10-2016, 14:01   #39
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How many corrupt Garda do you know ? I know a guy who was convicted of many driving offences and clearly targetted by police, so much so that they made up offences, for example saying they stopped him for no insurance when in fact he was not stopped.
In court this guy represented himself and put garda on stand. He asked Garda why he did not do him for tax that day he was apparently stopped, as records show car was not taxed, he asked him was he in a good mood or feeling generous that day. Garda was made a fool of and Judge got angry with him. Offence was dismissed. Why do Garda do things like this? Make up stories to get one over on a guy, there was many more offences also.
..so much so that he was sentenced to prison for 5 months on two occasions for made up traffic offences. He appealed all of this and one by one he won all appeals. He is now taking matters to high court. Why do Garda target people like this?
This guy lost his license because of their stories. On one occasion while on his bicycle a Garda pulled up in a car and mocked him, said things like
'' who is going to believe you over me '' .
Have you ever targeted people like this?
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19-10-2016, 14:09   #40
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What do ye do with the Fireworks that ye confiscate off young lads at Halloween?
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19-10-2016, 14:10   #41
I'm a Garda, AMA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLaDOS View Post
What's your opinion on the proposed Gardaí strike?

I think it's sad that it has come to it. But, it has to be done. For too long, the Irish Government has had it illegal for Gardaí to join a union or strike. This is contrary to European Law, and 2 Articles of the convention I believe. Gardaí are striking for some simple reasons.


1: While Luas drivers and politicians are getting increases in their salaries (nothing against the Luas drivers, fair play to them for getting something), the Gardaí are simply looking for restoration of pay. Not an increase, as the media would have you believe, but restoration. They're not looking for more, just what was taken off and promised to be restored.


2: To drive the point that the government were not only treating us unfairly (by not allowing our representatives into talks to discuss our pay and conditions), but illegally.


3: They got us to sign up to the Haddington Road Agreement, which included cuts, extra free hours other terms. The Government agreed to carry out a review which was due to be completed in April 2014 I think. Now, in 2016, they want us to sign up to the Landsdown Road Agreement, which not only wants us to continue with the cuts and get €2k back over 3 years (a small portion of what was taken), plus continue with the free hours, all the while promising that they'll actually stick to their side of the bargain this time. No good. Too late. Restore pay, complete the review, give us our human rights, and then we'll talk about going forward.


The government has been ignoring the issues, not just the ones above, for far too long. Gardaí striking is not against European law. Irish law should reflect that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrynesaver View Post
Do you feel the (ab)use of the Guards for political actions (eg. Rossport, compiling dossiers on legitimate left wing politicians/activists) brings the force into disrepute?

Do you feel "clatters" and "scalps" of working class kids contribute to the "us & them" culture in some communities and consequent disrespect for the law?

I do believe that sometimes, AGS is used for political reasons. But, and this is the issue we have, the members on the ground, manning the checkpoints, doing the investigating, manning water protests, they don't have a choice. They are given legal directions to carry this out by "superiors" (hate that word). AGS is an organization, one built with a military style hierarchy. A Garda does what his Sergeant, Inspector, Super, etc tells them to, as long as that action is not illegal. Now, it's not the place of the Garda to decide if water protest X or Ross port checkpoint Y is the right thing to be doing. They're doing their job. And they get all the slack for it. When it is management who make these decisions. The Garda is the footsoldier. I think that all criticism, correct or incorrect, should be guided towards management, as the member on the ground has no say in those decisions. Saying that, the area I was stationed in, none of that really effected us. The water protests, yeah, but Rossport and all that other stuff was so far away that I paid no heed to it. Was too busy doing my job to be honest!


And yes, the youth of today (you'd swear i'm an auld one) have way less respect for the uniform. Be that from the culture, previous experiences, bad Gardaí, or simply word of mouth of someone they look up to. But that's not all of the youth. it's mostly confined to those communities with a history of anger or hatred towards the Gardaí, and it's usually the offspring of career criminals and their associates. The law is soft on young offenders, and career criminals know this, so they're using the youths to commit the crimes and paying them for it. And I honestly don't know how that can be rectified.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ectoraige View Post
What technical improvements do you most want to see available to you and your colleagues in terms of improving communications/information management?

Something as simple as ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) in the patrol cars would be a start. Actually, purpose built patrol cars would be a start, not 1.6 diesel i30's. I can't count how many times pal has kicked off in the back of a patrol car, and there no screen to protect the driver. A better connectivity of systems is necessary. ANPR cameras on main thoroughfares and roads into cities. AGS is afraid of technology, and when Pulse was introduced it was intended to get rid of a lot of paper. Instead, it nearly doubled it. And we're well beyond the stage where portable Pulse systems in patrol cars should be the norm.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary63 View Post
Is it true that one in fifteen people who received penalty points get them cancelled.

Can those of us who pay the fine and get the points see a register of those who get the fines and penalty points cancelled.Is a list of these peoples names published anywhere.

I sincerely doubt the figure was every that high. It was true that it happened. This is well documented. Procedures were changed, and now it's next to impossible to get tickets cancelled ( I say next to, because there are genuine reasons when it needs to be cancelled). And no, there's no register that I know of. I suppose the only way for someone to know is to make a data protection access request, but it's up to each individual to do that, as data protection laws state we can't share personal information for someone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbu View Post
Would you mind getting rid of my penalty points? I can PM you if you wish to make my day

What you offering in return?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The flying mouse View Post
Do you believe in the death penalty for capital murder ?

I can be a bit radical with my views sometimes. Would I like to see it reintroduced for capital crimes? I do and I don't. I think there are some vile people out there, ones who, in my opinion, are beyond redemption or help. Do they deserve to die? Some would say so, others wouldn't. The death penalty was removed for good reason. I don't think bringing it back would be beneficial, but I could see some use in it. It will never happen though. Instead, there should be a max security prison where these people never see the light of day again, but that will never happen because of human rights activists (who are both necessary and unnecessary).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Firedance View Post
1: Do you get frustrated with the justice system in Ireland, if so what improvements would you make if you could?

2: Why do you think so many Irish drivers have such disregard for the rules of the road and what can/should we do to improve this in an effort to protect our more vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists and cyclists?

3: Have you always worked in one section and if not which of your postings was your favourite?

4: What do you think AGS can do to improve public support for them or do you feel you have good support in general?

5: Would you still join AGS if you were making that decision now?

Thank you for doing the job you do.

1: All the time. The best way to explain it is like this. Imagine spending hours on a project your boss wants you to do. You put heart and soul into it, to make it the best you possibly can. And when you hand it in, you get a "meh" and it's thrown away. That's what it can be like. And, like I said above, the best start is another prisoner, because the space isn't there to keep these people locked up.


2: I don't know where it comes from. People seem to think they're invincible behind a wheel of a car. A pet peeve of mine is people who fail to indicate. I started a one man war against these people when I first joined, only to be disheartened to learn that failure to use an indicator is not a fine (which, imo, would make people use them more), but a court appearance. That's an awful lot of work for what is considered a minor traffic violation. It didn't take long for my one man war to take a back seat to the impending mountain of investigations. How could we improve it? Make driving a part of the leaving cert, like America, where everyone learns how to drive, and all the theory and study that should go with it. I think to get a driving licence, you should have to go through controlled crash situations. People don't realise how easily a car can fold under the correct circumstances. those who drive without a care have never been effected by traffic collisions. Maybe being in a controlled one would give them a bit more respect. Oh, and Gardaí should have the power to direct someone to resit the driving test (which also needs to be overhauled).


3: More or less, yes, I've been frontline regular unit. I've dabbled in the other areas, and the technological side of investigations interested me, but it's all based from Dublin, and no offence to anyone from Dublin, but I hate that place! I wouldn't have minded joining the Regional Support Unit.


4: We're always been told that the public support us, and I did get thanks from time to time from members of the public. But in general, we don't deal with the nice people, so it's hard to judge support. I will say that AGS certainly doesn't have the support it used to, and this, imo, is down to the lack of proper community policing units. They, mainly, interact with the community in an non-investigative fashion. When the public begin to see that the Gardaí are just people doing a very hard job, and as longa s they see the Gardaí doing it right, support will return. The water protests severely damaged the reputation, but it didn't take too long for some of that support to come back once the malicious side of the protestors took over. So, basically, more interaction with the public should help restore public support.


5: No, I wouldn't. For many reasons, I decided to end my career with AGS. Even since I joined, the role and responsibilities have changed dramatically. Nowadays, the Garda is expected to be a Garda, solicitor, psychologist, phychiatrist, counsellor, paramedic, fireman, youth worker, social worker.... The list goes on. it's too much to expect from any one person. Enforcement of the law is taking a back seat to ensuring everything looks good. Investigation is taking a back seat to reports and checkpoints. There's no time to investigate properly, while the workload increased. Imagine the frustration of being the victim of a crime, and the investigation not being advanced at a proper pace. Now imagine trying to do that investigation, but you've no time, and you've to inform this person that it's still not complete. It all got too much for me, I felt no happiness in the job anymore, and it wasn't fair on the public or my colleagues to continue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tow View Post
Is it true you can retire at 55 on a full pension?

Yes. So long as you have 30 years done. Better yet, join the army, you get to retire after 21 years (or so my sister in laws friend says, who has 20 years service in the army done and he's 38).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Mustard View Post
Have you done the Garda driver training course? If so, what did you think of it and what did you learn that you thought was interesting?

Unfortunately, no, I never got the opportunity to do it. Not for lack of want. It's a very competitive course to get into, which is stupid. Every member should have that course as mandatory after 5 years of service (as an observer). But, from what I've been told, it's a very robust, very hard course to pass. It's 4 weeks long, and it 50/50 practical/theory. I don't think that anything needs to change in it, as it's one of the best thought courses there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgeo View Post
1. What one thing would you change about the job if you could?

2. Whats the most commonest misconception about irish law people have?

1: I would try and make the job more about policing, and less about the social care side. The Guard has to do so much that has nothing to do with investigating, that there's no time for the investigating.


2: That the Garda can't enforce the law without wearing his hat... I sill get asked that. Or that people "know their rights". Most people who say that are completely wrong, and it sets the tone for the rest of the interaction.
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19-10-2016, 14:28   #42
 
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Why do you hate Dublin ?
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19-10-2016, 14:31   #43
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I'm finding it very difficult to get information on this, but maybe you might know. I often see youtube videos of people from the US recording themselves when they're stopped by Police, mostly in cars. Over there it seems you don't have to say or give them anything unless they tell you why they've stopped you. They then ask the cop "Am I being detained?". If the answer is "No", then the driver or citizen is free to leave.

What's the situation here in Ireland? Do we have to give you our details if stopped randomly?

Last edited by Barney224; 19-10-2016 at 14:49.
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19-10-2016, 14:38   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLikeWaffles View Post
What's your favourite interrogation technique to get information out of suspects. Physiologically speaking are you good cop or bad cop?

Still use the auld beat them to a pulp with the phone book?
Interviewing, as we like to call it as it's less menacing, was something that you used to just sit in on until you felt comfortable to ask the questions yourself. This is now changed, and there are 3 or 4 levels of interviewing. Most, if not all, members shoud be trained to level 2, which is more than necessary for the interviewing they do on a daily basis. Levels 3 and 4 are for crime units who do the long, intensive interviews. Sometimes the regular have them, but it all depends on the severity. As for techniques, I was the good cop. I didn't want to chance my livelihood on being the bad cop. And the best technique is simply talking. If they're guilty, they'll make a mistake. but with "no comment" becoming the norm, it actually makes the job easier. The chief gets the phonebook, he uses it to beat members....

Quote:
Originally Posted by orthsquel View Post
Would you have worked with the police in NI/UK or European agencies or internationally (even for training) ? If so, what was the experience like (easy to get on with, their perceptions, etc) and if not, would you have liked to?

I was watching an episode of Fraiser last night, from Season 2 where Martin Crane (a cop for 30 years, retired) finally solves an unsolved murder after 20 years. Did you ever see yourself in that sort of position? Would it be common for retired Gardai to be pre-occupied with an unsolved case?
Never directly, but I was privy to a conversation between Gardaí and our US counterparts. They were shown a video of unarmed Gardaí initially talking to, and then taking down, a man armed with a knife. The majority of the replies from the US cops were "I would have shot him ages ago". The Gardaí are unique in that we are not routinely armed, and armed forces, especially like the US, find it hard to understand how we do our job. But, from what I've seen or heard, we are very comfortable with our colleagues from across the pond and further. There's like an unwritten code between cops, even from different countries. We have each others backs. We are the Thin Blue Line.

I think when most Gardaí retire, they're happy to do so and want to leave that life behind. Some become insurance investigators, some become security, and even some may help as civilian consultant, especially if they were involved in cold cases. Modern technology is starting to help close these cases, and retired members would help in that regard. Now that i'm out, I still have a fleeting interest, but I want to leave that life behind and start anew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bconneely View Post
I am correct in thinking that Garda training takes place in Templemore, or has that changed? Is it only field training or is it written exams as well? How long does training last and is it one bout of training and you're done, or are there different levels of training? If you suffer an illness mid-training and have to step away, once you recover do you have to start over or can you pick up where you left off?
Templemore is still the training college. And, I didn't realise until recently, that it's a certified college, and I have a Bachelor of Arts in Policing out of it. Which has kind runined my intention to go back to college, because i'll get no financial support unless I do a level 9 course... When I joined, it was 6 months in college doing theory and practice, but mostly theory. Some self defense, first aid, PE, handcuffs, pepperspray and asp techniques. Then it was 6 months as a student in a training station (if you remember the blue epaulettes, a Garda uniform but not yet a Garda). Then back to college for another 3 months for more theory and practical exams (including Irish and French...), and then you're "attested", and you get the badge and your permanent station. After 9 months, you're back to college for 2 weeks and then you "pass out", or officially become a Garda. Now, it's all changed. I think it's 6 months in college, then you're attested, but a few weeks back in college here and there for the next year. It included exams. If you got sick while in training and are out for a good amount of time, you'd start back at the start of your current "phase", if you were deemed medically fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkmonkey View Post
What's it feel like to be a civilian again, have you noticed any difference in how you view situations or how people act around you?
It hasn't stuck me yet. I apparently still have the "Garda head", which is usually looking around. I suppose I still look at situations and think how I would approach it. And if a Garda is being attacked and i'm nearby, I'll still jump in. As I said earlier, there's a bond in the job, and it's not easily broken. And because I left under normal terms, there's no hatred of the job. I dislike it, but I understand it. No one has acted differently around me yet, but they rarely did anyway, as I never brought my work home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhThatsGreasy View Post
What was the straw that broke the camel's back?
It was a combination of things. But ultimately, it was for my own mental health. I got sick of the job, for a number of reasons again that I can't really go into without identifying myself. It wasn't fair on me, my colleagues or management for me to continue working when I no longer had interest in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Smith View Post
Ever get any free stuff?
I'm walking away with a pair of expensive parade shoes! I had to turn down every offer of payment or gifts, but I was partial to the free cup of tea every now and again! And, instead of throwing out the old pastries at 4am, the local shop would give them to us. They were being thrown away anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BorneTobyWilde View Post
How many corrupt Garda do you know ? I know a guy who was convicted of many driving offences and clearly targetted by police, so much so that they made up offences, for example saying they stopped him for no insurance when in fact he was not stopped.
In court this guy represented himself and put garda on stand. He asked Garda why he did not do him for tax that day he was apparently stopped, as records show car was not taxed, he asked him was he in a good mood or feeling generous that day. Garda was made a fool of and Judge got angry with him. Offence was dismissed. Why do Garda do things like this? Make up stories to get one over on a guy, there was many more offences also.
..so much so that he was sentenced to prison for 5 months on two occasions for made up traffic offences. He appealed all of this and one by one he won all appeals. He is now taking matters to high court. Why do Garda target people like this?
This guy lost his license because of their stories. On one occasion while on his bicycle a Garda pulled up in a car and mocked him, said things like
'' who is going to believe you over me '' .
Have you ever targeted people like this?
I've never witnessed this, nor have I ever taken part in anything like it. To me, doing such things is not only a massive waste of time and resources, it's petty. I got into this job to help people, to put away the bad guys and make the good guys feel safe. Actions like this would have been counter-productive to me. And I think my colleagues knew this, and if they ever had an inclination like above, they wouldn't do it in front of me. As I said, times have changed, and you just can't do that anymore. That man was right to stand up for himself. Lies will always show in court, so the best defence is to make sure you don't lie. If you didn't do anything wrong, you don't have to lie. Judges can pick up on this stuff, and because a Garda is probably the most well known to the Judge, you can't put yourself in the situation when a Judge can't trust you, because he'll remember.

There was one person who you could say I "targeted", but I was keeping an eye on them as they were a well known criminal, and you were guaranteed 99% of the time to catch him doing something illegal. It worked. He's no longer a suspect as he just stopped committing crime, or at least hides it better. It's a fine line between targeting someone and monitoring someone. The difference is the legality behind it. People like you've described above are few and far between. remember that there are over 10k Garda rank. There's bound to be a few bad apples in there. But 99% are decent hard working people. Accountability is massive at the moment, so no member in their right mind would do something that can get them fired. Unfortunately, some don't have the sense to see that.
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19-10-2016, 14:39   #45
 
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Can regular Gardai get access to phone records? My ex was a Garda (very controlling and jealous) and he would always seem to know who mesged or called me when he wouldn't have had access to my mobile. He also told me about a colleague of his who was able to get access to his gf phone records and found out she was cheating on him!

I never had anything to hide but it always made me uneasy and wondering how he knew who I'd been talking to!
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