100 extra Gardaí are being deployed to patrol Dublin city centre during weekend evenings, An Garda Síochána have announced.
Operation Citizen began following the reopening of nightclubs on 22nd October, after concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour and assaults in Dublin city centre. Patrols are carried out both on foot and on mountain bikes.
Speaking to Newstalk, Garda Assistant Commissioner for the Dublin Region Anne Marie Cagney, said Operation Citizen should make Dublin a safer place to live in and visit:
“It was really important to listen to what people on the ground are saying, including my own teams and including our communities. And they had a sense that they felt unsafe throughout the city.
“And what I did at the time was I said I’d look at maximising our presence within the city,” Ms Cagney said.
“And that’s exactly what we’ve done as part of this. So we’ve really concentrated on areas where there’s a high footfall, areas where there’s pockets of antisocial behaviour and areas where we have people who like to congregate and enjoy the amenities of the city.”
100 extra Gardaí amounts to a boost of 30% to the force’s “high visibility presence" in the city centre and officers say the increase in manpower has led to a rise in both arrests and prosecutions.
Assistant Commissioner Cagney also said that Gardaí were aware of community concerns about needle spiking:
“We have received a number of reports around that and I think what’s particularly important is that we certainly are investigating all matters that are reported to us,” Ms Cagney told journalists.
“Part of our investigation includes the awaiting of toxicology results and making sure that we have a sufficient response in place to address any issues around that area. But certainly all of those matters are taken seriously and investigations are put in place.”
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has said an awareness campaign around the issue will be launched in the coming weeks.
Main image: Gardaí patrol the area around Dublin Castle. Picture by: Photocall Ireland.