Public calls lead to arrests over drugs and weapons

Calls from the public to Crimestoppers led directly to arrests and seizures of drugs, weapons, and child abuse images.

The confidential telephone service yesterday said it had received an average of 129 calls a month last year, with the most common calls requiring attention involved allegations of drug dealing, gun offences, road traffic offences, theft, and child abuse.

More than 1,550 calls were made to Crimestoppers in 2015 — a service that is providing gardaí with crucial information, according to assistant commissioner Derek Byrne.

“Information from the public is crucial to the gardaí,” said Mr Byrne.

“Our success arresting criminals and reducing the impact of crime on communities and businesses around Ireland depends on it.

“Crimestoppers provides a valuable alternative channel for members of the public to provide important information to the gardaí anonymously. Callers do not need to give any of their personal details and can rest assured that the information they provide will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence,” he said.

Gardaí say there were “significant” arrests and seizures as a result of calls to Crimestoppers, including the confiscation of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis, and cannabis herb on separate occasions during 2015. Individuals were subsequently arrested and charged with possession for sale and supply.

Calls also led to seizures of improvised guns and ammunition, including weapons used in robberies of a taxi driver and a shop, while arrests and seizures also took place in cases of alleged possession of child abuse images.

Callers also notified gardaí of car and bike thefts, and arrests were made for road traffic offences including drunk driving and driving with no insurance or license.

The service also ran a number of awareness campaigns in 2015. Initiatives included campaigns with ESB Networks on the theft of electrical cables, with the IFA on livestock theft; with the Department of Health on drug dealing; and with Done Deal and Carzone on buying and selling cars online safely.

Crimestoppers can be called on 1800 250025. It is a freephone number. Callers are not required to disclose their name or address. Some cash rewards are issued at the discretion of the gardaí.

The current sponsors of Irish Crimestoppers Trust include the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, Carzone, Done Deal, ESB Networks, Netwatch, Phonewatch, Ulster Bank, and the Vintners Federation of Ireland.


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