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Call for Criminal Assets Bureau to set up office in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Call for Criminal Assets Bureau to set up office in Galway Call for Criminal Assets Bureau to set up office in Galway

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) should establish a temporary office in Galway to crack down organised crime gangs operating in the city.

That’s according to the Chairperson of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) who said Government needed to draft CAB officers to Galway, and bolster garda resources to target ongoing criminal activity.

Cllr Níall McNelis (Lab) said on foot of meetings between local representatives and garda chiefs this week, plans were being drawn up for improved public engagement in the fight against crime – but serious resources were required to get to the root of the issue.

“I believe that the Government should set up a temporary CAB office in Galway so that the leaders of criminal gangs can be rooted out and hit where it hurts – in the pocket.

“CAB has been very successful in tackling organised crime since it was established and there needs to be a focus on Galway to ensure it isn’t a place where criminals can live the highlife at the expense of the local community,” he said.

On foot of a spate of recent violent incidents in the city, Cllr McNelis said the Department of Justice needed to act on long-standing calls for additional resources in the Galway Garda Division.

“We have been saying for a long time that we need extra gardaí and extra resources in Galway. The gardaí we have are doing their best and they have an extremely difficult job to do.

“It has become tougher in recent weeks and we need to ensure that they are being properly supported to carry out their work,” he continued, adding that he had full confidence in Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche’s operation of the Galway Division.

Cllr McNelis said additional CCTV cameras were required in the city centre and that would be one area of focus for the JPC’s subcommittee on antisocial behaviour which is due to meet next week.

“The difficulty we face is for every single CCTV camera, we have to make a business case for why it’s required – and even if it’s one pole with four cameras, a separate case has to be made to justify each camera individually,” he said.

Similarly for garda resources, a business case had to be made to the Department of Justice and Cllr McNelis encouraged members of the public to report every incidence of public disorder that they witness.

“Sometimes, members of the public ask what’s the point of reporting – the point is that every call goes to the call centre in Murrough and is logged.

“If gardaí are not able to respond because of a lack of resources, that is logged and it can then be pointed to as a reason that more resources are required,” said the Labour councillor.

Meanwhile, he called for members of the public to refrain from sharing videos of violent incidents in the city on WhatsApp and other social media networks.

“Sharing them on social media is only encouraging those involved and does nothing to help the situation.”

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