Wednesday, November 24 2021

A major law enforcement operation, focused on reducing street violence, has started in Dublin city center as the nightlife economy reopens after the lockdown.

Deputy Commissioner Anne Marie Cagney, in charge of the Dublin area police, said she believed the city to be a safe place. However, she said crime is set to rise again as the nighttime economy gains momentum after downtown crime trends plummeted during the pandemic.

Despite a decline in anti-social behavior and public order during the Covid-19 period, the Garda force had listened to comments from local inner-city communities and other groups who said they “did not feel safe “in central Dublin.

And now Operation Citizen would seek to reassure them, as well as deter violence and respond quickly in the event that problems arise during what was to be a very busy time before Christmas.

“People felt they did not feel safe in the city,” Cagney said, adding that Operation Citizen was aimed at increasing the perception of safety. For this reason, future feedback from the community and business groups would be crucial in measuring the success of the operation.

Ms Cagney said Gardaí wanted to tackle muggings, including damage-causing muggings, in the city center as people socialized. La Garda were determined to “maximize our presence” on the streets of Dublin and believed Operation Citizen, which officially launched in the southern city center on Friday evening, would be reassuring.

It would focus on “high traffic areas and areas with pockets of antisocial behavior”. Gardaí wanted people to be able to enjoy socializing in the city, see gardaí in the streets and feel safe as a result.

Garda units were deployed in certain areas, including the promenade and the general quayside area, and they would remain there permanently. In other areas, a more “fluid” high-visibility presence would be in place, which could move between the north and south downtown areas when needed.

When arrests were made, the arresting warden did not need to return to his post to deal with a suspect. Instead, other Garda staff would perform this task for them, making sure their frontline colleagues stay on the streets for a full shift.

Operation Citizen will involve teams of Garda personnel carrying out high-visibility patrols in the center of town during what Gardaí believes will be a very busy time until the end of the year.

Amid complaints, the promenade area along the north bank of the Liffey River had become a no-go zone due to anti-social behavior, eight guards were assigned to patrol full-time between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. .

As part of Operation Citizen, more than 100 members of the Garda were to patrol the city center on weekends, including 20 patrols in gardaí or on foot or on mountain bikes and 24 others in vehicles. The strength was increased by 30 people every weekend while armed guards and a 25 person public order unit, the Mounted Guard unit and the Guard dog unit were also deployed.


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