Friday 2 December 2016

Dozens held in Garda rural crime crackdown

Robin Schiller

Published 20/10/2016 | 02:30

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More than 50 student gardaí have taken part in a large-scale operation with other national units which has led to the arrest of 41 people.

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The raids and arrests were carried out under the auspice of Operation Thor in the Carlow/Kilkenny garda division, which focused on the Thomastown area in Co Kilkenny.

Of the approximate 140 gardaí involved, 50 were students currently placed in the Garda Training College in Templemore, while officers from regular units, national units and the Regional Support Unit (RSU) were also deployed.

The operation may be seen as valuable experience for the student gardaí, who may be required to carry out frontline policing duties should proposed strikes by AGSI and GRA members go ahead next month.

It is the ninth such operation in the South-East Region and in the last month has led to the arrest of over 100 people and several charges in relation to various criminal offences.

Of the 41 people arrested yesterday, 12 have been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 for misuse of drugs, burglary, and theft offences, and 28 have been arrested in relation to outstanding warrants. One man appeared before Carlow District Court in relation to theft offences.

A total of 15 premises have been searched under the Misuse of Drugs and Theft legislation. Cannabis with an estimated street value of €2,000 was seized during a search of a house. Fireworks, pepper spray and small amounts of illegal drugs have also been seized.

"The objective of today's operation is to disrupt criminals living in and travelling through Kilkenny/Carlow Division and deter criminal activity and promote community engagement.

This operation will also assist in the detection of criminal offences through proactive policing activities," Chief Superintendent Dominic Hayes, who is in charge of the Garda Division, said.

A total of 64 people were arrested in a similar operation earlier this month in the garda division.

More than 130 gardaí were involved, along with 50 students from the Garda College.

A visiting group of 30 European police officers attended a briefing at Kilkenny Garda Station and were present at some of the checkpoints as observers.

Irish Independent

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