herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

85 murder arrests in 18 months as city gardai tackle crime gangs

The Garda Armed Support Unit has played a key role
The Garda Armed Support Unit has played a key role

GardaiI have made 85 arrests in relation to murder investigations in Dublin in the past 18 months, new figures reveal.

As part of the murder probes, some 12,000 investigative tasks have been conducted by gardai, including 260 searches and 17 charges, with 25 firearms being seized.

The statistics are part of the draft annual report for the Dublin Metropolitan Area (DMA).

According to the figures, Operation Hybrid, the armed response to organised crime in the area, has given rise to more than 35,000 checkpoints, with 4,000 patrols and more than 11,000 searches.

The operation is reviewed on a weekly basis.

The report also revealed that the Armed Support Unit continues to provide high-visibility support throughout the DMA and will provide further support to front-line policing in the commitment to tackling organised crime.

Gardai say resources have been further boosted in recent months, with detectives targeting Dublin Port.

The report, delivered to the Joint Policing Committee, says: "An increased garda presence at the port [is] working closely with the other stakeholders to disrupt any potential criminal activity.

"The operation is also focused on the improvement of immigration and security controls at the port."

Other key findings in the report include a spike in property crime, begging and public order offences.

Outside of organised crime, property crime has jumped by 9pc, with violent crime rising by 3pc, although there have only been 11 incidents so far this year.

Disorder

Meanwhile, public order incidents have risen by 16pc, with gardai now targeting known hotspots.

Operation Irene is a high-visibility policing plan to address alcohol-related disorder in public spaces.

The report says: "As we are aware, during the summer months there is an increase in these particular type of incidents. To address this trend it is intended to introduce a targeted policing operation in each division.

"An Garda Siochana will continue to focus high-visibility patrols to target key hotspot areas.

"Special public order patrols will continue in key areas, particularly at the weekends, to address matters of a public order nature. Criminal damage incidents are up slightly at plus 13 in the DCC area."

Firearms offences in the Dublin City Council area remain relatively static, with two more incidents than in 2016.

Another area of concern for gardai is road traffic fatalities, which have increased dramatically in Dublin.

The report revealed that 13 people died on the capital's roads up to July 4 this year, compared to eight last year.

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