Longford Gardaí to target disabled parking offenders

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Jim Delaney

Supt Jim Delaney has told a JPC meeting of the crackdown his officers are planning in homing in on motorists that park in disabled parking bays

A recent meeting of Longford County Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) were told of the major offensive which garda chiefs are planning to introduce as part of its 2020 Policing Plan.

Supt Jim Delaney said the plan, codenamed Operation Enable was designed to stamp out needless road traffic offences at a local level.

“I see people, actually ably bodied people parking in disabled bays and we (gardaí) will mount a number of operations targeting that type of behaviour,” he said.

Supt Delaney was addressing elected members at the committee’s last meeting of the year last Monday week.

The Longford garda boss said parts of those plans for next year had been shaped by what he described as an “informative and excellent” consultation process at a recent open day in the Longford Arms Hotel.

“That was held with both non statutory and voluntary groups that we consult and engage with on a daily basis,” he said.

The process was a key ingredient in highlighting concerns and issues among those bodies while also helping to shape as well as “enhance the service we provide,” he maintained.

Supt Delaney took time to explain how road traffic represented a major focus especially at this time of year.

Another major offensive, dubbed Operation Surround had brought with it no fewer than 2,000 Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints targeting speeding, mobile phone usage and drink driving.

A further, what he termed “Super MAT” operation was already being planned for in a move which garnered wholesale support from those watching on from the floor.

Fianna Fail Cllr Martin Monaghan was one of those to lead that charge, saying from a business person’s perspective the increased garda presence on the streets of Longford could not have been more timely.

Fine Gael’s John Browne and Peggy Nolan followed suit, as both cited how heightened garda visibility brought a degree of buoyancy to the town.

“I was in town this morning and it was said to me on at least three occasions from the Ulster Bank up to Loughrey’s Pharmacy,” she said.

“Heretofore, people were afraid but there is a buzz about town now and people are saying it and are able to go about their business in safety.”