Garda boss vows to turn up heat on rivalling criminal gangs in Longford

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Jim Delaney

Supt Jim Delaney

Longford's criminal fraternity have been told: “If you are involved in crime or planning a life of crime we will be on your back”.

That was the overriding and resounding message meted out by Longford Superintendent Jim Delaney at a public meeting in Granard on Monday night.

Crime prevention and how to tackle criminality was the main item up for discussion as homeowners, together with local politicians and other stakeholders attended a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) public forum at Granard Community Library.

Watch: Garda chief says early morning raids will deal "significant blow" to Longford crime gang

But it was the absolute and no nonsense soundings delivered by the Longford garda chief which appeared to strike a chord with those watching on from the floor. In laying claim to the successes of various dedicated policing initiatives, typified by the likes of Operations Valero and more recently Stola in managing escalating feuding between rivalling Traveller factions, he said gardaí were very much intent on continuing to reduce crime rates while upholding public confidence and safety.

“We have had 1,600 proactive policing incidents and 41 arrests under Operation Stola," he said, adding other significant actions included stopping and searching suspects as well as bail and curfew checks.

“The armed units were strategically deployed. It wasn't done around the clock or to put a bad image out of the town. A lot of thought was put in and analysts were used.

“We are on top of it and rising to the challenge but make no mistake, we (gardaí) won't be resting on our laurels or sitting on our hands in continuing to deliver successful outcomes going forward.”

Watch: JPC chair tells crime gangs 'Longford is not a place for criminal activity and we will not tolerate it"