Over 30 arrests in crackdown on crime in Co Carlow

Arrests linked to fraud, drugs and theft as gardaí seek to ease rural crime concerns

Gardaí have arrested more than 30 people in a major operation across Co Carlow involving 120 Garda members including gardaí on horseback and the Garda helicopter.

Gardaí have arrested more than 30 people in a major operation across Co Carlow involving 120 Garda members including gardaí on horseback and the Garda helicopter.

 

Gardaí have arrested more than 30 people in a major operation across Co Carlow involving 120 Garda members including gardaí on horseback and the Garda helicopter.

The day of action, codenamed Project Storm, was run as part of the wider and ongoing Operation Thor and has seen 50 checkpoints erected across the county’s roads.

Similar anti-crime and reassurance days of action are planned in other parts of the country. Lists of target suspects and crime types are being drawn up for raids in those areas where intelligence suggests the need arises.

Senior sources said the operation was intelligence-led and aimed at arresting criminals and bringing them before the courts while also reassuring local people of the force’s presence.

“Some of these checkpoints have been done in very rural areas; against criminals but also to reassure people who may be fearful about crime that we are present and working away,” said one source.

New recruits

An unusual aspect of the day of action, which was set to continue until after dark, was the involvement of approximately 50 recruit gardaí.

They are currently undergoing training at the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary, but were assigned to the operation as on the job training.

Chief Supt Dominic Hayes of the Carlow-Kilkenny Division, and who lead the day of action, said it provided valuable experience for those in training.

“While providing an extra visible presence they gain valuable learning experience regarding the running of a major policing operation,” he said.

“They also get to observe the execution of warrants, arrests of suspects, prisoner management, conducting of checkpoints and community engagement”.

Of the 33 people arrested, the vast majority are Irish but four Romanian nationals have also been detained in connection with organised shop lifting.

Searches had been carried out more than 20 dwellings by late afternoon by Garda search teams assembled for the day’s raids.

Of those arrested, some were being questioned about low level fraud as well as drugs offences and a range of rural crimes including burglary and thefts from farms.

Two vehicles have been seized and a total of 16 people have been arrested under warrant after failing to pay court fines imposed for a range of offences.

Garda sources said those arrested under warrant were persistent offenders who had refused many times to pay court fines.

A total of 70 Garda members are involved in the operation supported by 50 recruits from the Garda College.

As well as the Garda search teams, local gardai and armed detectives, the day of action has also involved the Garda Mounted Unit, Garda Dog Unit, Air Support Unit and armed Regional Support Unit.