TWELVE people have been arrested after the PSNI were part of a cross border Joint Agency Task Force operation that took place yesterday (Wednesday, February 17th) focusing on rural crime.
The PSNI said working with colleagues in An Garda Síochána, the operation spanned border Districts and involved off icers from Neighbourhood and Local Policing Teams and Tactical Support Groups.
PSNI Superintendent Alywin Barton said: “This operation reflects our ongoing eff orts to reduce and prevent cross-border crime and disrupt the movements and activities of Organised Crime Gangs.
“We recognise the harm caused in our local communities as a result of rural criminal activity and we are committed to working with our partners to keep everyone safe on both sides of the border.
“This operation involved high visibility patrols and coordinated activity to detect crime and provide reassurance to the public.
“As a result there were 12 arrests for offences including drink driving and warrants relating to ongoing investigations into drugs, burglary, theft, assault and criminal damage.
“There were eight drugs seizures with the largest being approximately £100 of suspected Class A and there were three vehicles seized when they were detected being driven with no insurance.”
The PSNI Districts involved in this operation were: Newry Mourne & Down, Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon, Mid Ulster, Fermanagh & Omagh, and Derry City & Strabane.
An Garda Síochána resources included Garda North Western Regional Armed Support Unit, the Garda Air Support Unit, regular Policing Units, Detective Branches, and roads policing units from the Louth, Cavan/Monaghan, Sligo/Leitrim, and Donegal divisions.
The 2015 Fresh Start Agreement established the formal mandate for a Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force with the aim of bringing a concerted and enhanced eff ort to tackle cross- jurisdictional organised crime.
The Joint Agency Task force is led by senior off icers from the PSNI, An Garda Síochána, and other key partner agencies.
The current six strategic priorities identified for the Cross Border Joint Agency Cross Border Task Force are:
· Tobacco and Fuel smuggling
· Synthetic Drugs
· Human Traff icking
· Rural Crime (with cross-border dimension)
· Financial Crime