Twenty-three firearms and over €36m of drugs seized by Gardaí in 2020

ireland
Twenty-Three Firearms And Over €36M Of Drugs Seized By Gardaí In 2020 Twenty-Three Firearms And Over €36M Of Drugs Seized By Gardaí In 2020
The Garda Annual Report for last year showed over 7,600 criminal charges were created for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse. Photo: PA Images
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Twenty-three firearms, 2,131 rounds of ammunition, over €36 million worth of drugs and almost €8 million in cash were seized by Gardaí last year.

Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys published the Garda Annual Report 2020 on Monday, detailing the work of the force during the year.

The figures show the number of Gardaí reached its highest level in the history of the State in 2020 after 522 trainee and probation officers were attested early to assist in policing on the frontline during the pandemic.

Over 5,300 Garda Mounted Unit deployments were made last year, in addition to 1,360 Garda Air Support Unit flights.

Almost 180 planned searches by the Armed Support Unit were carried out during the same period, while there were 80 firearm operations, of which 36 were high-risk searches. The report adds that since 2016, 75 assassinations have been thwarted by Gardaí.

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The annual report also highlights key Garda operations, including Operation Faoiseamh (domestic violence), Operation Fannacht (Covid-19 travel restrictions), and Operation Navigation (pub/restaurant compliance with Covid-19 rules).

The report states more than 7,600 criminal charges were created in 2020 for crimes involving an element of domestic abuse and 22,795 contacts and attempted contacts with victims of domestic abuse were made.

Commenting on the figures, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "Despite the significant pressures from Covid-19, our core function of keeping people safe by preventing and detecting crime also had to be maintained in 2020. While crime rates did fall across most areas, criminals still sought to exploit the pandemic.

"In particular, significant amounts of drugs, cash and guns were seized, and major figures in organised crime gangs were brought before the courts. This work saved lives and degraded the capacity of such crime gangs. Low level street dealing was also targeted by Divisional Drug Units to support communities blighted by this."

"Of course, none of what was achieved during the year by the organisation would have been possible without the great work by Garda personnel who had to react rapidly to very challenging and difficult professional and personal situations," Mr Harris added.

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