Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 1440 - An Garda Síochána [43556/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 1440 - An Garda Síochána [43556/22]. (08 Sep 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

1440. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the progress that has been made following the roll-out of Operation Citizen; and if the Garda Commissioner has indicated if a scaling up of the project is expected [43556/22]

Helen McEntee Minister for Justice: An Garda Síochána are undertaking a number of operations in Dublin, including Operation Citizen, that align with the government’s overall aim to ensure that people are safe and feel safe in their own community.

As the Deputy will be aware, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended), the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, which includes responsibility for the organisation's approaches to preventing and investigating criminal activity. As Minister, I have no role in these matters.

I am informed by the Garda Authorities that Operation Citizen commenced in Dublin city centre on 22 October 2021. It was initiated 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.

The aim of this operation is to deliver an enhanced high visibility policing presence in Dublin city centre on a daily basis. Operation Citizen focuses on 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.

This operation places a particular focus on anti-social behaviour, public order and quality of life issues, assaults and high-volume crimes, and involves increased visible policing, particularly at key locations. In addition to Garda resources from the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Central and South Central divisions, Operation Citizen is supported by resources from the wider Dublin Region, Garda Roads Policing Units, the Garda National Public Order Unit and Garda Operational Support Units (Mounted Unit and Dog Unit).

The Garda authorities advise that there are in excess of 20 dedicated Gardaí on foot or mountain bike patrols daily, which are supported by 12 mobile patrols consisting of 24 Garda members from Pearse Street, Store Street, Bridewell and Kevin Street Garda Stations.

I am informed that there are in excess of 100 Gardaí patrolling Dublin city centre each weekend evening. 8 Gardaí are 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 the city centre Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening supported by 5 Regional Armed patrols which consists of 10 members.

I understand that the Garda National Public Order Unit which consists of 25 personnel on mobile patrols, when deployed, provide additional tactical and operational support to frontline personnel. Members of the Garda Mounted, Garda Dog Unit and DMR Roads Policing Unit also support Operation Citizen by way of additional high-visibility beats and patrols.

I am further informed that An Garda Síochána continues 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.

The Deputy may also be aware, in January this year, the Garda authorities launched Operation Saul to further support, enhance and strengthen the strategic and operational objectives of Operation Citizen. The aim of Operation Saul is to provide a safe environment for commuters utilising public transport services in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR).

I met with Garda members in Pearse Street station on 7th September to be briefed on both Operation Citizen and Operation Saul and I commend those members who are taking part in these crucial operations aimed at keeping people in, or travelling to, the city centre safe.

In addition, Operation Spire addresses the increased levels of on-street drug dealing and the associated anti-social and criminal behaviour in O’Connell Street area. This Operation is focused between the hours of 8am and 8pm daily and takes a robust targeted approach to all those involved in all criminal behaviour and anti-social behaviour, particularly drug related activity. This operation also includes liaison activity between DMR North Central and DMR South Central with homeless hostels and drug treatment centres.

There is also Operation Limmat and Operation Irene. Operation Limmat is the DMR’s assault in public and public order reduction strategy.  The operation promotes a pro-arrest and early-investigation approach to incidents of assault, together with driving high-visibility policing in public places to act as a deterrent to prevent and reduce assaults and public order offences in the DMR.

Operation Irene commenced in the Dublin Metropolitan Region on Wednesday 1 June 2022 and was due to continue until Wednesday 31 August 2022. The aim of this operation is to combat under-age alcohol consumption and the consumption of alcohol in public places in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, in a targeted operation through the enforcement of legislation regulating the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol and other associated legislation.

Finally, as the Deputy may be aware, a new property on O’Connell Street has been identified as a strategically important location to enhance An Garda Síochána’s high-visibility policing service in the DMR North Central Division. When opened, this facility will support and enhance the existing policing service in Dublin city centre and will provide a range of Garda services to the public.  The premises will also act as a base for members on a number of key Garda Operations running in the city centre, notably Operation Citizen.

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