27 September 2007 Edition

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Non-Garda phone line for serious crime urged for Dublin

Gardai near the scene where a motorcycle traffic Garda was shot on Ossory Road in Dublin

Gardai near the scene where a motorcycle traffic Garda was shot on Ossory Road in Dublin

THE shooting of an unarmed motorcycle traffic Garda in Dublin during the rush hour on Tuesday morning is being seen as a further escalation in the capital’s gun and drugs problem.
Sinn Féin Dublin City Council Group Leader Councillor Christy Burke condemned the shooting of the Garda in the North Inner City. “This vicious attack will only compound the sense of siege felt by communities throughout Dublin, particularly within the inner city where so many of these shootings have taken place.”
Just 24 hours earlier, ahead of a special briefing by Assistant Garda Commissioner Al McHugh to Dublin’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Dublin’s escalating gangland violence, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh urged that the party’s motion for a non-Garda phone line be supported by all members of the cross-party JPC.
Ó Snodaigh said:
“Following last weekend’s multiple shootings in Dublin and Limerick, which have left one man dead and another in a critical condition, inventive ways of assisting public reporting of serious gun and drugs crime must be supported.
“My questions to the Assistant Commissioner have become all the more urgent in light of the latest vicious gangland style attacks.
“I am asking the Assistant Commissioner to give an account of the Garda’s current approach to tackling gangland and drugs-related crime in terms of the level of resources allocated to it compared with other Garda tasks.
“I will be demanding from him an increase in resources for the Garda Drugs Unit so as to ensure the upward trends in seizures are sustained and enhanced. We also need more visible and targeted Garda patrols in areas experiencing chronic public drugs dealing and gun crime. Communities have an increased sense of being under siege and this is unacceptable.
Ó Snodaigh’s proposal for a non-Garda phone line based on the ‘Dial to Stop Drug Dealing’ initiative which was successfully piloted in Blanchardstown, west County Dublin, last year.
“A lot of work has yet to be done in the area of trust building between the Gardaí and communities. In the meantime, a non-Garda phone line has proven to be an effective way of encouraging reporting. Dublin’s JPC has a critical role to play in tackling serious crime head-on and I hope this will be acknowledged by all members in their support of Sinn Féin’s phone line motion.”

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