New plan to tackle worst 200 burglars
Two hundred of the most prolific offenders in the State will be targeted by gardaí in a new nationwide crackdown on crime.
The operation, which will be officially launched today, will focus on high-volume crimes like burglaries and is aimed at putting the thugs behind bars.
Substantial additional resources will be deployed in beefing up garda units responsible for tracking down and capturing the key culprits.
These will be funded initially by a special overtime allocation to the force - until sufficient new garda recruits are fully trained and capable of making an impact on the streets.
The initiative will build on the successes of the anti-burglary Operation Fiacla and its six regional offshoots.
The top 200 targets will be divided into three groups. The top tier, which operates across garda regions and has international connections, consists of half-a-dozen gangs, based mainly in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Sligo.
These are the mobile gangs who use high-powered cars on the national road networks to carry out nightly sprees of burglaries and thefts in the regions and then return to their urban bases.
The operation will be co-ordinated nationally to speed up the flow of information between garda regions.
"This will allow us time to intercept the gangs before they can return home after a night of robberies or burglaries in several counties," a senior garda officer told the Irish Independent last night.