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Friday 25 July 2014

Cutbacks to blame for carjackings, says Byrne

Mark O'Regan and Conor Feehan

Published 18/06/2014|02:30

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Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne

ROAD safety chief Gay Byrne has blamed cutbacks in garda funding for the recent carjacking craze which has hit Dublin.

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The veteran broadcaster said the alarming rise in this particularly frightening crime was due to lack of a tangible garda presence on the streets.

"It's a very, very, serious development in this country. It's a new kind of daring by criminals because of the situation we find ourselves in with the lack of police supervision," he said.

"These people are doing these things because the fact of the matter is that the prospect of getting caught is remote – they've become more and more daring.''

Mr Byrne, the chairman of the Road Safety Authority (RSA), said the only way to stem the rise in this particular crime was instilling a "fear of getting caught" in the perpetrator's mind.

"I've been talking about this issue with regard to road traffic laws, but exactly the same applies for violent crime. Putting it bluntly, you need guards on the streets," he told the Irish Independent.

"People had better be careful out there and you've got to take precautions.''

His comments come as one of our best known fashion designers and an Indian taxi driver became the latest victims of the carjacking craze which has hit Dublin.

Paula Rowan, the high-profile glove designer based in Westbury Mall, is a fashion favourite with the likes of Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Elle Macpherson, as well as Ireland's First Lady, Sabina Higgins

"Word of warning everyone . . . some guy opened my car door & tried to hop in this afternoon. I was driving up Pembroke Street . . . Lock your doors," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, taxi driver Prabhjeet Singh (28) did not suspect any danger when his cab was hailed down in Tallaght in the early hours of Saturday morning by three young males.

The quick-thinking driver was lucky in that he outwitted his three attackers by eventually grabbing his car keys and fleeing from the vehicle.

He stopped a passer-by to get him to contact the gardai, who quickly arrived on the scene.

When they went back to his taxi the men had disappeared and fortunately nothing had been stolen.

Irish Independent

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