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Armed Support Unit overtime cut after successful 2017

There have been a number of cuts to overtime across the force.

Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

ELITE UNITS OF the gardaí Armed Support Unit (ASU) and Special Detective Unit (SDU)  which were responsible for high-profile arrests in the Hutch/Kinahan feud have had their overtime cut.

The ASU is a dedicated armed unit of 55 officers which focuses on high-visibility patrolling of areas which have been vulnerable to violent crime.

The ASU was unveiled late last year by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald as a high-profile specialist unit, equipped with firearms and other weapons and with members trained as emergency first-responders.

It has been an extremely important cog of the effort to dismantle the Kinahan cartel’s operation in Dublin.

There has been a significant cut to the overtime allowance given to these units. The units were informed of these cuts earlier this week.

What this means is that there will be a significant drop in the presence of armed units in Dublin.

The cuts will, in effect, result in fewer checkpoints in areas which are deemed high risk for a shooting.

Sources have indicated to this publication that the reduction in the overtime for the ASU and SDU means that there will be a reduction in the number of armed members available to attend call outs.

The move has not gone down well with members of An Garda Síochána. Many see this latest reduction as a punishment for doing their jobs well.

Since extra resources were given to fight the Hutch/Kinahan feud, there has been significant increase in the number of drug seizures and arrests of senior criminals.

Moreover, there has been a serious reduction in the number of gangland murders. The cuts are expected to hit hardest in areas where officers have seen the most success. The north and south inner cities, which were given their own dedicated armed support groups in the wake of the Kinahan/Hutch feud, have now been left without them.

Late last year, it emerged that an order had been sent to every station in Dublin by the Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy banning all overtime for the month of December.

One garda told us that any planned arrests would not happen, there’d be no supervision in stations and, for some areas of Dublin, it meant that there were no anti-crime patrols in areas which see a lot of anti-social behaviour.

Other members said that there would no extra crime beats and no detentions for serious crime outside normal duty hours.

When contacted by TheJournal.ie, a Garda spokesman said: “For operational reasons An Garda Síochána does not discuss specific details surrounding the deployment of covert or uniform armed patrols.

“Garda management are satisfied that the present level of armed resources available within the DMR is sufficient to meet current policing requirements. The deployment of resources is kept under constant review.”

Read: Gardaí in Dublin told overtime is cancelled because budget ‘has been exhausted’

Watch: Gardaí test response to terror attack in simulation at Dublin’s Docklands

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