Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said that gardaí are not immune from economic reality and the reductions in public spending.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Mr Callinan warned delegates that they need to be professional in the way they carry themselves.

He said he was acutely aware of the financial burden and uncertainty gardaí faced, but added that they cannot embark on a road that would jeopardise their relationship with the community.

The commissioner said it was a time for restructuring and reconfiguring policing, adding that the community expects and deserves the utmost commitment.

Delegates at the conference have rejected any further reductions in their pay and allowances and agreed to take action to oppose the cuts.

More than a third of the motions at the association's annual conference oppose further cuts to pay and allowances or changes in their working conditions.

This morning all were voted through as the association now formulates its strategy to counteract Government policy.

AGSI wants Uzi submachine guns reissued

Garda sergeants and inspectors earlier voted to seek to have the Uzi submachine gun, which was withdrawn, immediately reissued to detectives.

A member of the AGSI national executive claimed that the death of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe might have been prevented if he had been armed with the weapon.

Inspector Walter Kilcullen claimed that detective Garda Donohoe might still be alive today if the Uzi submachine gun had not been withdrawn.

The sergeants and inspectors agreed that the weapon acts as a deterrent because criminals and terrorists are afraid of it and the submachine gun is far more effective than the present standard issue.

Tighter controls for garda PULSE system

Mr Callinan is to introduce tighter controls on the garda PULSE computer system following the investigation into allegations concerning fixed penalty points.

The system holds details of crimes, traffic violations and criminal records.

The new measures will allow access to the system based on rank.

Higher ranks will gain access to more information, as well as an audit system to establish who is accessing the system and why.

Many sergeants and inspectors feel that Commissioner Callinan is more in tune with Government policy than the concerns of his frontline supervisors and managers.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he expects to receive a report on the penalty points allegations by an assistant commissioner in the next few days, which he said he will publish.

However, Mr Shatter said it was important that individuals who have done no wrong do not have their privacy violated or reputation damaged by information appearing in the public domain.

It emerged late last year that thousands of fines and penalty points issued to motorists had been cancelled.