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PJ Browne: We need an Operation Anvil for knives

ANOTHER day and another knife killing on the streets of Dublin. This time we have the death of David Byrne in Inchicore. He was chased and stabbed to death, in a planned attack.

It has been reported that the deceased was a low-type gang member who had involvement in drug dealing. Whether he was or not he did not deserve to be stabbed to death.

These selfish thugs may now have climbed the ladder of promotion within their pack after carrying out the knife killing. It will continue like this, until they are caught or come to harm themselves. These are the two ends for gang members, there is no third way.

The fact is that the use of a knife to settle arguments has now become an epidemic, and has to have the highest priority among all citizens and gardai.

The stop-and-search methods that were used in Operational Anvil -- to search for gangland guns -- will have to be implemented again, this time for knives.

In a recent murder trial of the Dumbrell brothers for the killing of Christy Cawley, also in Inchicore, Judge Paul Butler condemned the use of knives on our streets and echoed the similar words of Judge Paul Carney.

In an open letter to the Minister for Justice recently I wrote of the irony that cigarettes have to be concealed from the public in shops yet knives of all shapes and sizes are displayed.

Surely this type of action has to be stopped and urgently? Why are knives not hidden at the back of a store and when a purchaser enters seeking to buy all his/her details should be recorded with proper identification required?

It's not impossible. It just takes a sense of responsibility by all concerned.

The investigation of David Byrne's murder is being conducted by experienced detectives at Kilmainham and Kevin Street. They will be assisted by some national units who will have to go back to their offices for lunch and finish work at 5pm -- due to cutbacks.

Meanwhile local officers at the above stations will plough on endeavouring to bring the murders to justice.

Minister Shatter and Commissioner Callinan, this type of slipshod use of the national units will have to stop. The days of politicking with serious crime investigation are over.

I am reiterating these words about the national units because some of their members have uttered them to me. And the public need to know.

PJ Browne is a former detective superintendent who served in Kilmainham Garda district