A special Garda operation targeting organised crime in Co Longford has resulted in the arrests of over 60 suspects since its introduction last year.
Operation Edict, which was rolled out by Granard Gardai in July 2014, is believed to be one of the region’s most successful anti-crime initiatives.
During the first ten weeks of its introduction, recorded offences fell by a quarter.
This week, the Leader has obtained findings showing the true extent of those efforts over the past 11 months.
To date, more than 60 arrests have been made coinciding in a 54 per cent reduction in burglaries.
Thefts and burglaries have followed a similar path, falling by over one third.
Dozens of searches carried out during the course of the same period has led to the seizure and recovery of many items.
Among them include firearms, drugs and stolen property.
Besides the operation’s visible benefits, it is also believed that a number of well known criminals living in mid and north Longford have left the county due to the increased Garda presence.
Two crime families who had established links in the north Longford area have left, moving to parts of Cavan and Westmeath respectively.
Those advances are being seen as major breakthroughs by Garda chiefs, so much so that the operation has been temporarily withdrawn.
Supt Shay McCormack said the reasons for the move had also been prompted by the operation’s demanding character.
“It (Operation Edict) has been very successful, but by its nature is very time consuming,” he said, as he told of the difficulties certain offences pose.
“It’s stood down, but not closed off.
“ A lot of the crime in Edgeworthstown appears to be family feuding and a number of those are quite difficult to prosecute.”