herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Garda response to feud sees marked fall in general crime

Extra gardai are on patrol
Extra gardai are on patrol

Dublin's ruthless gangland feud has made life tougher for low-level criminals.

The Hutch-Kinahan violence has led to extra gardai patrolling the city's northside.

With more officers on the streets, drug and gun seizures have increased and there have been fewer robberies.

Supt Paul Scott of Raheny Garda Station told a Dublin City Council meeting that increased patrols had had a "knock-on" effect in lowering crime in general.

Speaking at the North Central Joint Policing Committee meeting, Supt Scott said the number of robberies in the Raheny district had fallen by 36pc compared with last year's figures.

Drug seizures in the same district fell by 22pc.

Supt Scott attributed the reductions to a "significant input of resources" in response to "what has become known as the Hutch-Kinahan feud".

"It does have the knock-on effect that, say, the 'ordinary criminal' isn't prepared to stick his head above the parapet," he said.

Robberies

Supt Scott added that many criminals who may have considered armed robberies or ambushes of cash-in-transit vans had been discouraged.

However, he noted that robberies at businesses in the Howth area had increased in the past nine months, but gardai had a "number of operations" under way to combat this.

Meanwhile, Supt Gerard Donnelly of Coolock Garda Station said the number of people caught in possess- ion of a firearm had increased by 40pc compared with the first nine months of 2015.

Coolock also saw a 68pc fall in the number of thefts from a person.

Supt Donnelly credited an 11pc reduction in public order incidents to add- itional weekend patrols.

"A lot of it will be driven by the additional resources that we had out there," he said, adding that 1,000 searches had been conducted in the first nine months of this year compared with 685 in the same period in last year.

Asked by councillor Ciaran O'Moore about the budget needed to keep up the increased patrols, gardai stressed they would do what they could to lower crime figures.

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