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Terror threat Garda HQ to pay €7m for stab vests against 'daily threats of attack'


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Vests protect gardaí from knife and needle-stick injuries

Vests protect gardaí from knife and needle-stick injuries

Vests protect gardaí from knife and needle-stick injuries

An Garda Síochána is to shell out €7m on ballistic anti-stab vests to protect members' lives in the line of duty.

New tender documents show the initial order will be for 7,000 vests.

Garda HQ said the figure is an estimate "based on current and future expected usage".

The tender says the €7m spend will cover the three years of the contract and any possible extensions.

Concealed

Stab vests are expected to be worn generally as an outer garment, but can be concealed under a jacket or coat.

The vest is just one of a wide range of measures in place to protect gardaí in the course of duty.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said officers face the daily reality of the threat of being attacked, and no other group in Irish society, apart from prison officers, is confronted with this.

The tender comes against the backdrop of a levelling-off this year, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, in the number of crimes against the person.

There had been a gradual rise over the previous three years.

Along with providing protection against knives, the vests will prevent needle-stick injuries.

After any such attack, gardaí would routinely be tested for HIV and other viruses.

The tender documentation for the vests states that if a problem occurs with an anti-stab/ballistic vest, such as failure of independent testing over the duration of the contract, the successful contractor will be responsible for recalling and testing the batch and replacing any and all affected vests free of charge.

Companies have until November 3 to make their submissions.

Firms looking to tender for the contract must have an annual turnover of €3m.

Riot

Already this year, An Garda Síochána has paid German company Mehler Vario System GMBH €475,560 for ballistic vests and vest covers.

Garda documents show the force also paid €47,040 to Helmet Integrated Systems Ltd for riot helmets.

The documentation shows that in the first quarter of this year, Garda HQ paid National Technical Systems €57,500 for vest testing, and €643,378 went to Daniel Technologies for ammunition.

Herald