Crime in Limerick down 18% in 6 months

SERIOUS crime in Limerick has dropped significantly over the first six months of this year, figures compiled by Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal.

A senior garda said the drop from 33 to 16 shootings between January and June was due to the deployment of more gardaí and a number of operations in certain parts of the city.

Superintendent Frank O’Brien said: “Overall, crime is down 18% for the first six months of this year. And this trend has been right through the city and county.

“The drop in illegal discharge of firearms can be attributed to a number of factors. People have been arrested and sentenced by the courts. The deployment of the Regional Support Unit (RSU) has also been a very significant factor.”

The heavily-armed RSU unit, made up of two sergeants and 10 gardaí, is being piloted in Limerick and Cork.

The RSU and the Emergency Response Unit have been deployed to specific areas of Limerick where shootings occur most frequently.

Supt O’Brien said an operation code-named Oilean, launched in St Mary’s Park, was also very successful.

He said: “Residents there are very happy with the significant reduction in crime there since we started operation Oilean five weeks ago. A lot of incidents had been occurring there with cars being burned out and other crimes which were impacting on the quality of life of the people living there.

“Horses which had been allowed wander on open areas posing a danger to children were rounded up.”

Another operation to target a spate of burglaries in city suburbs also led to a significant drop in the number of break-ins. Operation Fosus has resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of a number of known burglars.

Supt O’Brien said the deployment of 100 extra gardaí to Limerick was also very significant.

He said: “These extra resources make it possible for us to respond more effectively to issues when they arise, anything from more serious crimes like the discharge of fire arms to routine incidents of public order.

“There are now more than 600 gardaí in the Limerick division which covers the city and county and a small area of south-east Clare.”

More in this section