After seizing 80 knives last year, Gardaí in Limerick are planning a strategy aimed at tackling knife-crime, according to Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche.
During the month of January alone, Gardaí in the Limerick Division recovered 11 knives, a spokesman confirmed to the Limerick Post.
Detections for possession of offensive weapons, which includes knives and other articles, are up 10 per cent, from 31 to 34, compared to this time last year, according to the latest crime statistics.
“Knife crime is still quite prevalent here and we are actually developing a strategy now. I’m hoping to develop a strategy in relation to our response to knife-crime,” said Chief Superintendent Roche, who heads the Limerick Garda Division from Henry Street station.
A “multi-agency” approach to tackling the issue is what is needed, he explained.
“I’d be looking at talking to the Council, and getting into schools to talk about the effect of knife crime, and about the fact that young people who might be used for drugs or whatever, who are resorting to knives, and the effects it has on them.”
The Garda chief is also looking for input from a range of stakeholders, which might also include the business community.
“It’s only beginning. It’s something we are developing at the moment to deal with it,” he added.
Chief Supt Roche also confirmed he is interested in looking at what strategies are being planned by the London Metropolitan Police who are presently trying to curb a knife crime epidemic.
So far this year, 27 fatal stabbings have occurred in London where city schools are installing metal detectors known as ‘knife arches’ to tackle the problem.
There are no plans for such measures in Limerick which, has nowhere near the same knife crime levels.
“We are looking at London to try and see what they are doing there. London would be a lot worse than we are. In fairness, there’s no comparison really,” Chief Supt Roche stressed.
“We are just at the beginning of this and it will be a while before we have it fully developed,” he added.
by David Raleigh