Ex­tra gar­daí to help in cities over Christ­mas

Irish Examiner - - News - Eoin English

F i f t y p ro b at i o n e r g a r d a í have been drafted into Cork and Lim­er­ick cities to bol­ster Christ­mas polic­ing plans.

Se­nior gar­daí say spe­cific op­er­a­tional plans have been pre­pared for each city, but that each plan will have a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on tack­ling theft, on pub­lic or­der, on main­tain­ing traf­fic flow, and on drink or drug driv­ing.

The pro­ba­tion­ers will be de­ployed along­side ex­ist­ing gar­daí over the next few weeks at key times iden­ti­fied by Garda Anal­y­sis Ser­vices.

In Cork, 23 pro­ba­tioner gar­daí have been as­signed to as­sist in var­i­ous op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing one fo­cus­ing in re­cent days on or­gan­ised beg­ging, which has led to dozens of ar­rests in the last few days, in­clud­ing 23 sep­a­rate ar­rests across last week­end alone.

In Lim­er­ick, 27 pro­ba­tioner gar­daí have been de­ployed. Some will be in­volved in the high-vis­i­bil­ity Op­er­a­tion Meirle tar­get­ing shoplift­ing.

In Cork, Chief Su­perint e n d e n t B a r r y M c P o l i n urged peo­ple to use pub­lic trans­port over the Christ­mas pe­riod, and to con­sider us­ing the ex­tended Black Ash park and ride fa­cil­ity.

He asked mo­torists to keep junc­tions free, park legally, not block yel­low boxes, and keep bus lanes free.

Chief Supt McPolin warned that ex­tra check­points will be mounted.

“Cork City Cen­tre is a safe place to shop, but some sim­ple pre­cau­tions will make the ex­pe­ri­ence more en­joy­able,” he said.

He urged peo­ple to be care­ful when with­draw­ing money from cash ma­chines and banks, to mind be­long­ings when in crowded ar­eas, and to use a hand­bag or shoul­der bag that can be held se­curely. Mo­torists have also been ad­vised not to leave lug­gage or valu­ables ex­posed ins i d e a p a r ke d c a r , n o t t o leave lug­gage at­tached to a roof rack, and to lock their cars se­curely.

“Over the next few weeks we will have ad­di­tional uni­formed and plain-clothes pa­trols through­out the city to tackle these in­ci­dents,” said Chief Supt McPolin.

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