Sunday 22 October 2017

Anti-knife campaign is planned as 1,900 seized in two years

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan revealed gardaí in Dublin have seized nearly 1,900 knives since the beginning of 2015. Photo: Tom Burke
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan revealed gardaí in Dublin have seized nearly 1,900 knives since the beginning of 2015. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Gardaí are planning a major nationwide anti-knife crime campaign as it emerged they have taken almost 1,900 knives off Dublin's streets since 2015.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the planned campaign is to coincide with Halloween, which he said was "traditionally a high knife crime period".

He also revealed figures showing gardaí across the capital recorded 791 knives seized in 2015, 696 in 2016, and that 410 had been confiscated this year by July 20.

The provisional figures, which Mr Flanagan said were subject to change, show that a total of 1,897 knives were seized over the past two-and-a -half years.

Gardaí were dealing with knife crime through education and engagement with community initiatives, Mr Flanagan said. He added that the force also had a "vigorous enforcement policy", with detectives said to be monitoring vendors that sell knives.

Mr Flanagan said there were "heavy penalties" in place for knife crime including sentences of up to five years for possession in a public place "without good reason or lawful authority".

Knives on display during a Garda knife crime awareness campaign
Knives on display during a Garda knife crime awareness campaign

Mr Flanagan also said gardaí were developing "a national anti-knife, awareness-raising, crime prevention initiative" to coincide with Halloween and this winter's Operation Thor anti-burglary campaign. Halloween night in 2015 saw six stabbing incidents across Dublin, including the killing of Lorcan O'Reilly (21) at a bonfire on the city's southside.

Earlier this year, a 16-year-old boy was sentenced to six years' detention with 18 months suspended after he pleaded guilty to Mr O'Reilly's manslaughter.

Irish Independent

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