It will soon be normal to see a yellow jacket on the streets of Longford as local gardaí announce plans to have a garda on the beat in the town in what has been dubbed Operation Phoenix.
At a meeting of Longford Joint Policing Committee last week, Inspector Frank Finn explained that gardaí were preparing to target Ballymahon Street, Dublin Street and Main Street in particular, with the new operation being rolled out from the beginning of October.
CEO of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon explained that the move came in response to an increase in criminal behaviour in Longford town.
“We should adopt an approach that would improve the experience of people who want to and need to use the centre of town,” he said.
“We can’t do nothing. We need to work together with a focus to address what we perceive to be and what is an issue in Longford town.”
Inspector Finn explained that An Garda Síochána would endeavour to have a garda on the beat in the Longford town centre every day and that people should start to think it normal to see a yellow jacket on the streets again.
“(The garda) will target double parking, anti-social behaviour, loitering, public order offences, theft from shops, bikes on footpaths and the inappropriate use of motorised scooters,” he explained.
“We’re targeting the quality of life issues affecting people using Longford town.
“We’re calling it Operation Phoenix and any interactions we take will be recorded and details be made available to the JPC.”