'Where are these resources going to come from?': GRA question plan to target 'assault hot-spots'

'Where are these resources going to come from?': GRA question plan to target 'assault hot-spots'

Rank and file gardaí are questioning whether the force has the resources to roll-out a new strategy to tackle violent assaults on the streets.

The Assault in Public Reduction Strategy will shortly be launched in so-called "assault hot-spots", where extra gardaí will be deployed to reduce street violence and to make public places safer.

These areas, in Dublin and major towns and cities across the country, will see high-visibility patrols, with officers taking a "pro-arrest" approach.

However, Garda John Joe O'Connell of the Garda Representative Association says his members want to know where the resources will be drawn from.

"We are struggling with resources," he said. "Yes, we have got probationers over the last three or four years to bring up our numbers but we have to ask the question, where are these resources going to come from to target these hotspots?

"Yes, our members are out there during the weekends and seven nights a week, morning, noon and night to deal with these issues but we have to ask where are these extra resources going to come from?"

Mr O'Connell says a pro-arrest policy is nothing new.

"When our members come across these incidents, people are arrested. It's not like our members stand back and there's not a pro-arrest policy.

"When there's assault causing harm, and our members go to those incidents, and there are suspects and offenders there, they are arrested."

The operation will also seek to reduce knife crime, which, despite accounting for a small number of assaults, can have devastating consequences.

Garda Headquarters say they can't solve the problem alone and the force will be working with pub owners and local authorities.

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