A Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force Operation on tackling rural crime took place along the border yesterday.
The planned joint operation included collaboration and cooperation with the PSNI and An Garda Síochána.
A number of garda units including the Garda North Western Regional Armed Support Unit, the Garda Air Support Unit, regular Policing Units, Detective Branches, and roads policing units from the Louth, Cavan/Monaghan, Sligo/Leitrim, and Donegal divisions were involved in the cross border operation.
The PSNI Districts involved in this operation were: Newry Mourne & Down, Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon, Mid Ulster, Fermanagh & Omagh, and Derry City & Strabane.
This specific day of action spanned the entire border area concentrating on cross border burglaries and Organised Crime Gangs that use the border corridor to facilitate their criminal activity.
The Garda Press Office has said the objective of this operation is to reduce the harm caused to rural communities as a result of rural criminal activity, to prevent and detect criminals and criminality in the area and also to prevent and disrupt the free movement of criminals on road networks in the common travel area within the border region from conducting unlawful activities.
The operation involved a high visibility targeted tactical deployment of operational resources on both sides of the border with An Garda Siochana and the PSNI working in a co-ordinated fashion to prevent crime, disrupt criminal activity, apprehend criminals and enhance shared criminal intelligence between the two police forces operating on the Island of Ireland.
A PSNI Officer and a Garda Checkpoint. Images via Garda and PSNI Social Media / EmergencyTimes.ie
A number of detections and arrests were made during the operation These included;
- 5 arrests were made for those driving under the influence of an intoxicant,
• 3 detections were made for drugs possession arising from a number of drugs searches.
• 3 vehicles were seized under Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act,
• One man in his 40s has been arrested following the seizure of suspected heroin, amphetamines and cannabis in Clones, Co. Monaghan.
• Separately the PSNI made 12 arrests, 8 drugs seizures and seized 3 vehicles during the operation.
D/Superintendent John O’Flaherty of the North Western Region said: “An Garda Síochána is acutely aware that rural crime has the potential to cause serious harm to local communities and with our colleagues in the PSNI we are committed to working together to ensure we keep everyone safe on both sides of the border. Last evening’s operation forms part of our continued efforts to disrupt the movements and activities of Organised Crime Gangs and works to reduce and prevent criminal activity in border areas”.
The formal mandate for a Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force was established as a result of the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement, with the aim of bringing a concerted and enhanced effort to tackle cross- jurisdictional organised crime.
The Joint Agency Task force is led by senior officers from the PSNI, An Garda Síochána, and other key partner agencies.
The current six strategic priorities identified for the Cross Border Joint Agency Cross Border Task Force are:
- Tobacco and Fuel smuggling
• Synthetic Drugs
• Human Trafficking
• Rural Crime (with cross-border dimension)
• Financial Crime