Every second month, the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee meets with the Assistant Garda Commissioner for the Dublin Region, Anne Marie Cagney to discuss policing issues across the city. As part if this meeting, the Assistant Commissioner provides a comprehensive report, which I have attached below.
Given the level of information provided in the Assistant Commissioner’s Report, I feel it is important to share that with you, as a means of updating you on the work of An Garda Siochana across the city.
Up to 31st October, 2021, property crime in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) is down -16%. Burglary incidents in the DMR are -36% lower with Aggravated Burglary incidents -37%. Robbery from Establishment +1%, Robbery from Person -24%, Unauthorised taking (UT) of a vehicle -2%, Theft from vehicle -35%, Theft from person -46% while Theft from Shop is +0%. Trends for possession of offensive weapons in the DMR are down 18% YTD, overall up to and including 31st October, 2021.
As of 31st of October 2021, the DMR has recorded a 5% decrease in Crimes against the Person. Incidents of Minor Assault were 7% lower while there has been no change in incidents of Assault Causing Harm during the year to date.
Domestic Abuse Incidents in the DMR are +4% YTD.
2. Serious Crime
From 1st January to date there were nine (9) murders reported in the DMR, in which seven (7) persons have been charged with offences and are currently in custody and before the Criminal Courts in respect of said matters. A full incident room has been established in the respective Districts where these incidents were reported with a Senior Investigation Officer (SIO) being of Inspector rank or higher appointed to coordinate these investigations on a day to day basis. There have been a significant number of resources assigned to these investigations. The Divisional Detective Superintendent maintains supervisory oversight of these investigations and provides updates to Assistant Commissioner, DMR.
2.1 Operations Faoiseamh & Caomhnaigh:
Operation Faoiseamh is An Garda Síochána’s response to Domestic Abuse related incidents and aims to provide an enhanced level of support, protection and reassurance to victims of domestic abuse.
Phase I of Operation Faoiseamh involves the utilisation of Garda Victim Liaison Offices, Divisional Protective Service Units and other appropriate resources to engage with victims of Domestic Abuse. This engagement seeks to establish with victims any existing issues of concern, to offer support and reassurance to victims while also effectively ensuring that any issues identified in need of a response are dealt with in a timely and decisive fashion.
Phase II of Operation Faoiseamh concentrated on the execution of arrests and the commencement of prosecutions for offences relating to breaches of court orders obtained pursuant to relevant provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2018.
Operation Faoiseamh ensures proactive engagement with victims and provides the necessary reassurance, support and assistance of local and specialised resources.
Domestic Abuse Incidents in the DMR are + 4% YTD.
Operation Caomhnaigh was launched in the DMR in July, 2021 to further support Operation Faoiseamh and enhance the available supports to the victims of Domestic Violence. The effective governance structure provided under the DACT (Domestic Abuse Coordination Team) permits Divisional Officers to efficiently embed these enhanced procedures and protections.
2.2 Operation Hybrid:
Operation Hybrid is a DMR operation established to effectively target Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) through a range of targeted activates designed to disrupt and diminish their criminal activities and where appropriate seize their assets and the proceeds of their crimes. Operation Hybrid has a strategic collaboration with other specialist and national units including the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and
external law enforcement agencies e.g. Revenue.
The Garda Síochána’s Analysis Service (GSAS) provide appropriate data on crime trends associated with organised crime to local Garda managers in the DMR which informs their local operations and initiatives in an efficient and timely manner. Operation Hybrid encompasses a cohesive approach by uniform and plain clothes members from District, Divisional, Regional and Specialist National Units. This operation incorporates high visibility Divisional checkpoints across the Region with uniform support from local units, armed units and Regional Traffic.
The following table is an overview of the estimated monetary value of illegal narcotics (Subject to analysis) and cash together with the number of firearms recorded as seized in the DMR on the Garda PULSE system, for the period January – September 2021, inclusive. Possession of Drugs for sale and supply incidents in the DMR Region are down -19% with possession of drugs for personal use also down -21%. Hereunder is an overview of the monetary value of illegal narcotics seized in the DMR, January – September, 2021, inclusive.
Overview of the monetary value of cash seized in the DMR, January – September, 2021, inclusive.
Overview of the number of firearms seized in the DMR, January – September, 2021, inclusive.
2.3 Operation Citizen:
Assistant Commissioner, DMR initiated Operation Citizen which seeks to reassure the citizens, visitors and the business community in Dublin City Centre that it is a safe place in which to visit, socialise, conduct business and enjoy its amenities. In meeting this objective, particular emphasis focuses’ on public order, assaults and high volume crimes.
Operation Citizen focuses on a collaborative community and stakeholder engagement as the positive use of the Dublin City Centre public realm is not just an issue for An Garda Síochána. An Garda Síochána continue to positively engage with key stakeholders such as Dublin City Council, Business groups, the hospitality sector and voluntary bodies in addition to the formal interaction within the Dublin City Centre Business Forum and the High Level Street Issues Committee chaired by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
Assistant Commissioner, DMR launched Operation Citizen to coincide with the 22nd October, 2021 when certain restrictions impacting on the night time economy were lifted. The primary objective of An Garda Síochána remains to minimise the risk to public health; to maximise public safety; to maintain core policing functions; to detect crime and preserve the peace and to promote confidence in An Garda Síochána.
The aim of this operation is to deliver an enhanced high visibility policing presence in Dublin City Centre on a daily basis. This will be achieved through the following;
- Allocating high visibility beat / pedal cycle / mobile patrols to locations identified where instances of anti-social behaviour and public order offences occur.
- Reducing opportunities for anti-social behaviour and dealing proactively and professionally with any public order issues.
- Acting to prevent and detect crime, preserve the peace and minimise disruption to the community.
- Issuing of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) where appropriate.
- Issuing of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices (FCPN’s) in respect of certain Public Order Offences, where appropriate.
- Effecting arrests in appropriate circumstances. Procedures have been implemented to ensure that where appropriate, arresting officer(s) remain on the street continuing in the performance of their high visibility patrols, while their prisoner(s) are transported by a designated transport vehicle to a designated Garda Station and processed by station gaolers.
Assistant Commissioner, DMR has overall Regional strategic oversight in respect of Operation Citizen. Assistant Commissioner, DMR will convene regular meetings with Chief Superintendent, DMR North Central & South Central Divisons to examine and assess the operational performance of operation Citizen and will ensure corrective action is taken in respect of any deficiencies identified in the policing plan.
Chief Superintendent DMR North Central and South Central Divisions will have strategic oversight of ‘Operation Citizen’ in respect of their own Divisons / Areas of responsibility. Chief Superintendent DMR North Central and South Central Divisions will ensure performance assurance compliance with the operational objectives and reporting requirements. Superintendent Store Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations will have operational governance of Operation Citizen on a daily basis. Accountability and compliance on matters subject of this operational plan will be monitored and reported by these Superintendents ensuring that any barriers to delivering on the operational objective are overcome.
Key Points to note of Operation Citizen:
- On a daily basis there are in excess of 20 dedicated Gardaí on foot / mountain bike patrols, supported by 12 mobile patrols (24 members) from Pearse Street, Store Street, Bridewell and Kevin Street Garda Stations.
- There are in excess of 100 Gardaí deployed to patrol Dublin City Centre each weekend.
- Eight (8) Gardaí assigned to this initiative full time and are specifically patrolling along the Boardwalk, Quays and environs every day 4pm – 4am supported by 30 additional Gardaí deployed on beat patrols in City Centre Friday, Saturday, Sunday evening supported by five (5) Regional Armed patrols (10 members).
- The operation provides in excess of 500 additional hours policing each week to Dublin City Centre.
The Garda National Public Order Unit (25 personnel on mobile patrols), together with members of the Garda Mounted, Garda Dog Unit and DMR Roads Policing Unit support this operation by way of high additional visibility beats and patrols.
Detective Superintendent, DMR CTU / Digital Intelligence will continue to work in conjunction with the Garda Síochána Analysis Service (GSAS), to identify hotspot locations and ensure a co-ordinated approach to prolific Offenders involved in assaults, serious public order offences and robbery and theft offences from the person in the DMR North Central and South Central Divisions.
2.4 Operation Soteria:
Operation Soteria is a National strategy which promotes a pro-arrest, early-investigation, proactive high-visibility approach to assault in public reduction in each Garda division with emphasis on prevention, education and awareness. This strategy promotes early prosecution of offenders where appropriate.
This strategy focusses on five key strategic principles for the reduction of assaults:
- Protecting People and Communities
- Awareness and Education As A Crime Prevention Technique
- Policing Operational Efficiency
- Location Management by Working In Partnership
- Offender Management
Each of these principles have specific goals and objectives and ultimately are about how best to protect communities from assaults, raise awareness on the devastating effects this type of crime has through education and the media, increasing policing operational efficiency and the use of location and offender management. Assault Causing Harm incidents in the DMR are at the same level as 2020, while Assault minor incidents are down – 7%.
2.5 Operation Realistic:
In 2021, Operation Realistic was established in the DMR by Assistant Commissioner, DMR to combat Human Trafficking and organised prostitution within the Region. The focus of this operation is to identify victims of Human Trafficking and prosecute any individuals involved in the organising or facilitating of Human Trafficking. The operational objective is to have a targeted victim centred approach to all areas of activity susceptible to Human Trafficking in the DMR. Operation Realistic is designed to set out the Regional strategic approach to monitoring Human Trafficking assisting Irelands tier placement on the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
As part of Operation Realistic, twenty two (22) locations with suspected links to Human Trafficking Offences have been identified. These locations have been provided to each Divisional Detective Superintendent for a full and thorough investigation. In each Division in the DMR an SIO has been appointed with the Divisional Detective Superintendent maintaining a strategic oversight and developing the operational interventions as required. There are a number of co-ordinated days of action due to take place in the DMR before Christmas.
2.6 Operation Thor Winter Initiative:
The National Anti-Crime Strategy, DMR Winter Initiative was launched in October, 2021 as a part of the winter initiative policing plan, entitled Operation Thor Winter Initiative will build on good practices which were developed with Operation Thor.
The objective is to have a focused, targeted and integrated approach to criminals involved in committing Burglary related crime in the DMR through the winter months of 2021/2022. It will target ordinary crime, including both residential and commercial crime. This strategy will be influenced by timely analysis of crime trends and patterns, identification of offenders and the utilization of a range of interventions to target various facets of this criminality.
Assistant Commissioner, DMR is responsible for the strategic oversight of crime operations within the DMR and for ensuring the implementation of initiatives to deliver clear and measurable Results under each of the five pillars of this strategy.
The delivery of this plan will incorporate the deployment of all operational personnel including Crime Detective Units, Divisional Burglary Response Units/Task Force Units, Drugs Units, Community Policing units, Traffic Personnel, National, Regional and Divisional Support.
The objective is to have a focused, targeted and integrated approach to criminals involved in committing Burglary related crime in the DMR through the winter months of 2021/2022. Operation Thor Winter Initiative will target ordinary crime, including both residential and commercial crime. This strategy will be influenced by timely analysis of crime trends and patterns, identification of offenders and the utilization of a range of interventions to target various facets of this criminality. Assistant Commissioner, DMR has placed significant emphasis on driving detections through co-ordinated days of actions in respect to high volume crimes.
The Detection Improvement Plan for the DMR provides the necessary strategic command and oversight to burglary detections with enhanced performance assurance and governance structures underpinned by the following 11 Pillars:
- Governance –Crime Trends and Criminal Activity
- Strategic Coordination and Review
- Review of Undetected Crime
- Reasons why not Detected
- Mandatory Actions for Crime Investigations
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Bail Conditions
- Management of Offenders
- Crime Prevention and Reduction
- Detection Improvement Operations- Regional Strategic Priorities
3.Drug Related Intimidation: Operation Fógra
Operation Fógra is An Garda Síochána’s response in the DMR to Drug Related Intimidation (DRI) and continues to be embedded in the Region. Operation Fógra was launched to combat DRI which has been identified as a major source of community harm and fear in the DMR and is a sinister motive for various forms of criminality.
Recent positive examples that highlight the efficacy of Operation Fógra occurred in the DMR North Division where attempts were made to extort €25,000 from an individual culminated in his arrest and conviction. The injured party was threatened at their home on three (3) separate occasions and had the front window of their house damaged. The matter was reported to An Garda Síochána and a thorough investigation commenced. Gardaí co-ordinated a search of the suspect’s home during which vital evidence was secured and seized incriminating the suspect with blackmailing the injured party. The suspect was interviewed by Gardaí and a comprehensive investigation file was submitted for the consideration of the Director of Public
Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP subsequently directed that the suspect be charged and to be prosecuted on indictment with three (3) separate counts of Blackmail Contrary to Section 17 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 as amended. Investigating Gardaí, as directed, arrested and charged the suspect, who entered an early guilty plea before Dublin Circuit Court. During the course of the investigation and subsequent court proceedings investigating Gardaí remained in contact with the injured party.
The injured party and their family attended Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to hear the sentence hearing where the accused was sentenced to imprisonment.
In a separate case, again in the DMR North Division, an injured party was intimidated and demanded to pay €10,000 to repay their drugs debt and had their property damaged. The injured party reported the matter to Gardaí and a thorough and robust investigation commenced. Gardaí arrested the suspect and established sufficient evidence to support charges being preferred against the accused. The accused is currently before the Criminal Courts charged with serious criminal offences in respect of this matter.
4. Overview of CCTV issues DMR:
In the Kevin Street District the aspect of Crime Prevention has recently been reviewed and proposals made to the DCC regarding the Canal area. Gardaí are engaging with DCC in regard to improving the CCTV system at Robinsons Court.
5. Underage Drinking (Alcohol) & Drinking (Alcohol) in Public Places:
Community Policing Gardaí attached to the DMR North Central Division visited a number of schools in the Divison including, St Vincent’s, O Connells Secondary school, Little Learners in Drumcondra, where they imparted safety advice in advance of Halloween and on the dangers and offences associated with alcohol consumption.
6. Liquor Licensing DMR:
There are in excess of 900 licensed premises in the DMR South Central Division, many with multiple licences e.g. Restaurant, Hotel, Pub, Theatre, Dance etc. There have been approximately 300 applications received by local Garda management in the DMR South Central Division during Q3. There have been approximately 104 applications received by local Garda management in the DMR North Central Division since 31st August, 2021 with 81 applications approved.
Under the auspices of Operation Citizen nominated Liquor Licensing Inspectors in the DMR North Central & South Central Divisions are proactively engaging with owners and management of licensed premises to remind them of their responsibilities and will take assertive action, where necessary, by bringing breaches detected under Liquor Licensing Legislation before the Courts.
7. Traffic Management in the DMR:
Chief Superintendent, DMR Roads Policing reports that Operation Beira is currently under review and an updated operational order will include a strategy to deal with HGV congestion caused by other incidents which are not associated with Dublin Port, such as closure of Dublin Port Tunnel etc. The original Operation Beira was designed to deal with Post Brexit congestion, only.
Operation Open City will commence in the DMR on the 1st December, 2021 and will focus on supporting traffic management infrastructures which are in place to make shared road spaces safer for vulnerable road users. The objectives of Operation Open City is to facilitate the movement of public transport, while minimising traffic disruption to the general public, through high visibility policing and enforcement. To minimise fatal and serious injury collision, promote good driver behaviour and to target criminals using the roads thus giving credence to the ethos of ‘denying criminals the use of the roads.
Chief Superintendent, DMR Roads Policing reports that a new initiative was introduced in July, 2021 called Bike safe. Bike Safe is focuses on engaging and collaborating with motorcycle riders in a relaxed environment to raise awareness on the importance and value of progressing on to accredited post-test training. Through Bike Safe classroom-based workshops a detailed briefing is provided on hazard awareness and how to make motorcycle drivers more aware of their safety. Bike Safe workshop also includes an observed ride with an Advanced Garda Motorcyclist. The participant then receives a detailed feedback on their strengths and areas for development of their road craft based on the observed ride.
Aim’s of Bike Safe:
• Reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury collisions involving motorcyclists.
• Improved motorcyclist’s knowledge base on riding motorbikes.
• Enhance Community relations between An Garda Síochána and the motorcycle community.
• Encourage motorcyclists to continue with accredited training.
• Opportunity for Cross border consistency with PSNI Bike Safe.
8. Youth Crime DMR:
9. Planning of Major Events in the DMR:
Planning has commenced in respect of several concerts and events being planned to take place next year including in venues like Croke Park the 3Arena etc. An Garda Síochána have participated in a number of community engagement meetings have taken place with residents to address their concerns in respect of these events.
10. Policing of Public Transport:
An Garda Síochána continues to work closely with and support Irish Rail /Dart and Luas through the delivery of increased high visibility patrols on boards its services and in and around the environs of Railway and Dart Stations and Luas stops in recent months. An Garda Síochána provides support to staff attached to Irish rail and Luas when inspecting patrons to for valid tickets, effectively tackling anti-social behaviour and disrupting the activities of criminals using the railway. Assistant Commissioner, DMR together with Divisional and District Officers hold regular engagements with relative stakeholders to examine policing issues and address concerns in respect of public transport in the DMR.
11. Casual Trading in the DMR:
An Garda Síochána in the DMR North Central & South Central Divisons proactively engage with established causal traders to ensure that they are receiving the necessary support and assistance form Gardaí while also ensuring compliance under the causal trading act. In addition, the inspection of causal trading permits forms part of all operational orders in respect of events, matches and concerts in the DMR.
12. Litter Issues in the DMR:
Assistant Commissioner, DMR wishes to take acknowledge the invaluable support and collaboration between An Garda Síochána and DCC in the lead up to and during Halloween in the safe and secure removal of combustible material being stocked for the purposes of unsupervised bonfires. In response to complaints of illegal dumping in the Ballybough area and operation was out in place to identify the offenders. Members of the Community Policing team identified the tenant involved and also spoke with the landlord to resolve the issues. Contact was also made with the relevant recycling company regarding complaints from other residents re non-collection. Ballybough Pride of Place continue their work in the community and are supported by Community Policing with any issues to ensure the area remains litter free. The HAY Project involves 8-11 year olds involved in local tidy ups with the project and this is to help with instilling pride in their area. DCC and An Garda Síochána have engaged regarding problem areas and clean ups have been completed in areas around Blessington Street, Summerhill, Dorset St, NCR and Cabra.
13. Operation Handlebar:
Operation Handlebar is a proactive operation specially designed to combat the theft of bikes and E-scooters in the DMR. Operation Handlebar is divided into two (2) strands, the first involves the purpose of a dedicated marking machine for bikes and E-scooters. An Garda Síochána in the DMR have successfully purchased this marking machine with training undertaking by appointed member in each division in the use of this machine. The full rollout of a bike marking scheme will begin in late November with the marking machine provided to these appointed member to run marking days in their divisions.
The second strand involves Gardaí highlight hotspots for thefts of bikes by parking this blue bike at these locations in the DMR North Central and South Central Divisions. One of the blue bikes was recently located at Huston Station with another located at an Apartment block in the North Inner City which had been the subject of a large number of bike thefts.
As part of Operation Handlebar Assistant Commissioner, DMR has placed significant emphasis on driving detections through co-ordinated days of actions and to ensure that every effort is made to reunite stolen property with its rightful owner and hold those responsible accountable for the theft / handling of same, before the Courts.
14. Re-Opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station:
Assistant Commissioner, DMR is delighted to announce that on the on the 11th of October, 2021 Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station re-opened to the public. The newly refurbished Station is a unique building as it has no holding or detention cells and will not accommodate crime suspects.
Instead the Station is a purpose built victim centred building with a victim suite which will cater for the needs of all victims of crime boasting the best and most modern facilities in line with international best practices.
There is also a ‘Community Wing’ which will be open to the community to use and allow for the hosting of a range of community engagement events / initiatives. The building also has a multiagency office where colleagues from external agencies who are working with An Garda Sióchána can establish a base for the duration of any such operation / enquiry.
The Station will accommodate the DMR North Central Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU), together with the victim services office and members of the community policing unit for the District.
There will be an official opening of the Garda Station on a date to be confirmed.
Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Broadstone, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Constitution Hill, Drumcondra, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Fine Gael, Grangegorman, Infirmary Road, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Policing, Quays, Rathdown Road, Sean McDermott Street, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Summerhill
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee