Up to a dozen men and women were arrested and questioned by gardai this week in a major crackdown on organised crime across Co Longford.
Officers from Granard, Edgeworthstown and Longford town carried out a wave of searches last Thursday in an operation which also involved members from the Gardai’s Armed Regional Response Unit.
All of the suspects were detained at various stations across the county where they were questioned about their alleged involvement in crimes that are currently under investigation.
They were made after gardai recovered a raft of weapons, ranging from knives and ammunition to pipe bomb making material.
The searches, which were spearheaded by Garda management from Granard and led by its Superintendent Tom Murphy,
The searches, carried out at the behest of Granard Garda District chiefs and its Superintendent Tom Murphy, form the latest chapter in the ongoing fight against organised crime.
Much of that work stemmed from a specialised operation, code-named ‘Edict’ which was rolled out earlier this year.
Among its chief targets were individuals and families who have since been linked to dozens of thefts, assaults, drug dealing, pipe bomb and firearms incidents.
“Several groups and families were identified and targeted in what is described as intelligence led ‘overt’ policing - essentially ‘in your face’ policing of the gangs and families,” a Garda source told the Leader this week.
More specifically, senior detectives refer to that new, tough handed approach as “selective incapacitation strategy”, a form of policing where Garda resources are focused on specific individuals for a sustained period of time.
“All arrests and charges are usually put against the offenders together,” said the source.
It yielded results in the past, the most recent of which came two weeks ago with the arrest of a suspect who had been linked to a string of break-ins and handling stolen property.
The man, who was later charged ahead of a possible court appeareance before the end of the year, was one of a number of high profile targets gardai had been tracking for some time.
Garda chiefs now hope their decision to expand Operation Edict into the likes of Edgeworthstown will reap similar results over the weeks and months ahead.