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Operation Fiacla is 'a sham', say gardai

THE special garda operation aimed at tackling the country's burglary epidemic has been described as a "sham" by officers.

Several gardai have claimed that the much-publicised Operation Fiacla is "all about massaging figures".

Minister Alan Shatter has confirmed to the Herald that no extra resources have been allocated for the crackdown on gangs.

However, he denies officers' claims that he's engaged in a "campaign of spin". A source said: "No money was allocated to An Garda Siochana for Operation Fiacla. It is just a PR stunt to get the politicians and journalists off their backs."

The Herald has been told that to "bump up figures", mandatory drink-driving checkpoints which existed before the operation are being recorded as Operation Fiacla checkpoints.

It's also claimed a directive was issued that "all incidents regarding burglaries, aggravated burglaries, robberies, thefts, criminal damage and searches under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act are to be associated with Operation Fiacla".

A spokesperson for Minister Shatter denied the claims, saying: "At no point has the Department made claims about the number of checkpoints.

"Operation Fiacla is not dependent and was never intended to be dependent on additional resources.

"It is an example of the resources being deployed in a targeted and intelligence driven fashion by the Garda Commissioner."