Why the Fuck, would you need, Armed Gardai, to Take on Kids, 12, 13, Years old; Madness, Knee Jerk Reaction, you Need, Community Policing, Gardai on the Ground, not in the Air?

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Cherry Orchard ramming was ‘revenge’ for gardai targeting anti-social behaviour as armed squad hauled in to tackle thugs

Youths as young as 13 are acting with “impunity” with the lack of on-the-ground Garda presence

Dangerous racing in Cherry Orchard as driver rams garda car

22nd September 2022

Armed gardai have been hauled in to tackle thugs rampaging in stolen cars and terrorising a community.

Policing has stepped up in the Ballyfermot area of West Dublin since a patrol car was rammed twice by joyriders in stolen cars on Cherry Orchard Avenue on Monday evening. The Garda vehicle was being driven by two female officers.

A probe has been launched into the incident but gardai believe it was done in “revenge” for a recent operation tackling alleged anti-social behaviour in the area which saw seven brought before the courts. Some were rearrested for breaching bail conditions earlier this week.

Read more: Cherry Orchard residents want to leave area as two female officers in car rammed by joyriders left ‘traumatised’

Yesterday, Minister Eamon Ryan told the Dail there is increased patrolling by the Regional Support Units and Armed Support Units in the area. But sources have revealed youths as young as 13 are acting with “impunity” with the lack of on-the-ground Garda presence.

The hoods are stealing cars, joyriding and then using social media to highlight their criminality. The community in the Cherry Orchard area have welcomed the extra resources, but fear they’ll be left behind once the spotlight moves onto the next story.

Car rams garda vehicle in Cherry Orchard
Car rams garda vehicle in Cherry Orchard

One local source revealed: “These young men are acting with impunity. It’s all about bravado for them. Some are aged 13, 14 and 15. But most haven’t seen a presence on the ground out there, they haven’t been arrested for things you should be arrested for because there just hasn’t been enough gardai.

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“And there’s an inconsistency to it all. There was a recent operation to tackle this sort of behaviour, but it’s never backed up on the ground.” The Garda Representative Association explained it has struggled with resourcing issues.

Burnt out car being removed from the scene in Cherry Orchard
Burnt out car being removed from the scene in Cherry Orchard (Image: Councillor Hazel De Nortúin)

Spokesman Mark Ferris said: “We have skeleton units and we don’t have the capacity to respond to the community. We have turned into a reactive police force rather than proactive.” Addressing the Dail yesterday, Minister Ryan referenced the recent Operation Preachan which had been put in place some weeks ago to tackle anti-social behaviour.

He said: “As a result of this operation, seven individuals have been arrested and up before the courts.” Justice Minister Helen McEntee has asked Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to look at what more can be done to tackle the behaviour. She added: “I have to be clear. Anyone who engages in anti-social behaviour can be punished – we will not allow anti-social behaviour to leave communities in fear.”

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