Monday 15 July 2019

Truck drivers given role in cracking rural crime

New text alert scheme

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Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A new text alert scheme using truck drivers to help crackdown on crime in rural communities will be launched by gardai today.

The initiative, which will be piloted in Limerick, will focus on preventing and tackling criminality in rural and isolated areas.

It will see truck drivers employed by a number of companies contact gardai in Bruff to report suspicious activity in the area.

Gardai will then investigate these reports and, if necessary, alert drivers to make them aware of the incident.

Truck drivers working for Dairy Gold, Tipperary Co-Op and Kerry Gold, will be involved in the pilot scheme which will be reviewed after six months in the hope of widening the programme.

Supt Brian Sugrue, of Bruff Garda Station, said that a priority of the initiative was preventing crime in more isolated areas of the garda district.

“The aim of this initiative is to enhance communications between An Garda Siochana and our local business who can assist us in preventing crime in our more rural and isolated locations.

“It asks that when safe to do so, truck drivers call us if they notice anything suspicious. Having spoken to the Irish Farmers Association in Limerick, this is a welcomed initiative to assist in preventing crime and enhancing the quality of life for our farming community who work and reside within the Bruff and Newcastle West Districts.”

The text alert initiative is the brainchild of Garda David Hennessy, who said that in previous investigations truck drivers have assisted gardai in recovering stolen property in the community.

“In 2017 I dealt with an incident where a farmer had a quad bike stolen during the night. A truck driver came across the incident and contacted us immediately.

"The quad bike was recovered by Gardaí before the farmer even knew it went missing. These truck drivers have extensive local knowledge and visit rural locations at unsocial times, like was the case in this incident.

“The assistance that we will receive from our local businesses will hopefully provide us with another valuable tool in making our communities a safer place. If anyone in our communities, not just truck drivers, notices anything suspicious, pick up the phone and call us,” Gda Hennessy said.

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