32 probationer Gardaí to help Christmas policing effort

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Limerick Garda Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche.  Photo: Liam Burke
Limerick Garda Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche.  Photo: Liam Burke

32 probationer Gardaí have been assigned to Limerick to help tackle thefts, drug dealing, public order incidents over the busy Christmas period.

The temporary measure is part of the national ‘Operation Open City’ initiative which runs all the way through to New Year’s Day.

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The probationers will be stationed in Henry Street, Roxboro Road and Newcastle West Garda Stations.

Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said the probationers will be deployed to assist Gardaí at keys times that have been identified by the Garda Analysis Services.

“Our aim is to provide high viability policing to tackle thefts, drugs, public order incidents road traffic offences and to help the flow of traffic in the city.”

Probationer officers will also help enforce the road traffic laws.

“In particular, we will be using these resources to increase the capacity of our Roads Policing Units. We have had 12 lives lost on our roads this year, 12 too many. I hope that by increasing our checkpoints and our speed checks, we will not have to suffer any more loss of life,” said Chief Roche.

“There will also be an emphasis on early morning checkpoints. If you feel like you may still be over the limit the next morning, don’t take the risk by getting behind the wheel. In general, traffic will increase in the city and I would ask that where possible, people avail of public transport. Most importantly, I would like to wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas,” he added.

Gardai have also commenced Operation ‘Open City’ which will continue until Christmas Eve “to facilitate the movement of Public Transport and minimise traffic disruption to the general public, through high visibility and enforcement activity”.

It involves a multi-agency approach between Gardaí, the National Transport Authority, Limerick City and County Council and transport providers.

There will be a high visibility enforcement operation with Gardaí patrolling major arterial routes and link roads during core commuter hours, as well as a particular focus on traffic management issues around car parks at major shopping areas.