Gardaí used pepper spray more than 500 times last year

Gardaí used pepper spray at least 502 times last year, according to the Irish Times.

The newspaper reports that the London Met police used it 68 times between April and June 2017, which extrapolates to around 270 times for the year.

However, they also have the option of using a Taser.

GSOC has complained about delays in Gardaí reporting the use of the spray - in 2017 only 33 came forward within the mandatory 48-hour period.

A Garda spokesman suggested the option of using a Taser means Met officers are less likely to deploy pepper spray, which could explain the discrepancy in the statistics.

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