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Garda's budget to disrupt the gangs cut in half

THE Garda's budget to disrupt gangland movements has been more than halved.

Operation Anvil, which paid for raids and roadblocks on gang members, now only has €10m -- down from €21m.

Detectives will now focus more on intelligence and targeted operations in the coming year.

The new strategies have been drawn up in the wake of a reduction in Government funding

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said that specific policing operations targeting major gangland figures would not be affected by the cuts.

He said the force still had a substantial budget for 2011 to tackle the gangs through focused measures that stemmed from intelligence gathering.


Anvil has had considerable success since it was set up in countering the gangs through the seizure of weapons, drugs and stolen goods, largely through random checkpoints.

Garda figures show there were 19 gangland murders last year, compared with 17 in 2009.

In his first interview since taking up the post late last month, Commissioner Callinan said his priorities were the drive against the big crime gangs and terror campaigns planned by dissident groups -- and concentrating on high volume crime, such as burglaries with and without violence, thefts and robberies.

The commissioner will meet with PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott at the end of the month on jointly combating the threat posed by dissident groups such as the self-styled Oglaigh na hEireann, the Real IRA and Continuity IRA.