Dublin TD says gardaí being forced to tackle gang crime with "one hand tied behind their back"

Darragh O'Brien says Garda numbers in the Dublin region are down 20% on where they should be

darragh, o'brien, gang, crime, gardai

Darragh O'Brien. Image: RollingNews.ie

A Dublin TD says the gardaí are being forced to tackle the capital's gangland problem with "one hand tied behind their back".

Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien says there needs to be an immediate escalation in the process of Garda recruitment.

He says Garda numbers in the Dublin region are down 20% on where they should be - due to Government neglect over recent years.

The Dublin politician says there also needs to be a direct focus on the gangs - but gardaí must be properly resourced to do the job.

Earlier this week, the Tánaiste and Justice Minister announced a number of new measures to tackle organised crime.

The Cabinet approved the drafting of legislation which will make it easier for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) to seize criminal assets and money.

Frances Fitzgerald is proposing reducing the threshold for cash seizures by CAB from €6,500 to €1,000.

Minister Fitzgerald also announced that the Bill will provide the CAB with administrative restraint allowing officers to immediately freeze - in certain cases - assets which are suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

She also confirmed a special garda taskforce on crime, with extra powers to work with Revenue and Department of Special Protection officials.

The taskforce will 'relentlessly [focus] on persons involved in gangland activity', the Justice Department says.

The moves come amid efforts to tackle the Kinahan-Hutch feud in Dublin, which has claimed seven lives since last September.