Louth gardai alert to risk of terror attack

Louth gardai alert to risk of terror attack

Gene Yore gene.yore@dundalkdemocrat.ie @DundalkDemocrat

Gardai in Louth are on alert for any possible terrorist attacks here as Garda and military intelligence increase surveillance throughout the country in the wake of recent attacks on the Continent.

Chief Superintendent Sean Ward, head of the Garda Louth Division, has told members of Dundalk Local Policing Forum that the Louth Garda Divisional Policy Plan, which is currently being drawn up, is based on the national policing plan and aims to protect people from possible terrorist attacks as well forming a strategy to fight crime.

Chief Supt Ward said the plan sets out “to make Louth a safer place to live, work, and visit”.

Like the national policing plan, the Louth plan sets out to protect people against terrorism in all its forms.

To combat serious and violent crime, in particular organised and cross-border crime including human trafficking, as well as burglary, drug related crime, white collar crime and crimes against businesses and agriculture.

It also sets out to provide a visible policing service which meets the needs of both rural and urban communities, to tackle anti-social behaviour and support victims of crime.

Chief Supt Ward said the new Louth Division plan will include monitoring of all convicted sex offenders living in the division.

The plan will tackle all prolific criminals.

The victims of crime office will continue to operate out of Dunleer garda station and there will be full support for all victims of domestic violence with garda officers calling back to people ensuring that a line of communication between law enforcement officers and victims remains open.

There will be a comprehensive review of community policing and Chief Supt Ward said he will be looking at making more use of the reserve gardai available in the division.

Matthew McGreehan, the IFA representative on the Dundalk Policing Forum, said the community text alert groups are not getting as much information from gardai as they did in the recent times.

Superintendent Gerry Curley said the system is proving very effective and has contributed towards a reduction in crime in the division.

“If there is anything suspicious we give it out through the text alert system,” he said.

Sergeant Brendan Keenan who is in charge of the garda side of the text alert system also attended the forum meeting.

Supt Curley also gave a report which showed a dramatic drop in the crime figures for the second quarter of this year.

Compared to 2015 burglaries are down 48 per cent on the same period in 2015.

Thefts down 35 per cent.

Robberies down 50 per cent.

Thefts from shops are down 22 per cent.

Criminal damage is down 34 per cent.

An increase in resources in the Dundalk District has resulted in a 94 per cent increase in drug related arrests.

It has also resulted in an increase in reports of assault which rose from five in the second quarter of 2015 to 12 in the same period this year.

Cllr Mark Dearey welcomed the report but said there are still plenty of victims out there and the battle against crime cannot be relented upon.

Supt Curley said the figures showed that there were still 81 victims of burglaries in that quarter and the gardai would not forget that.