Garda Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan has lauded the people of Drogheda for the support they offered An Garda Siochana during the course of their ongoing battle against the gang war that has blighted the town and surrounding areas in the last two years.
Officers tasked with bringing an end to the violence in Drogheda have in the past urged local people to come forward with information and intelligence that can assist the Gardai in their investigations, all the while conscious that many people may be fearful of of speaking to authorities. However, the county’s most senior Garda praised the help received as “phenomenal.”
Chief Supt Mangan was speaking during the public meeting of the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee meeting on Monday, held remotely via video conference with elected representatives, community representatives and members of the public in attendance, virtually.
He thanked members of the public, particularly in Drogheda, for the support the local Gardai received throughout the last 12 months, as they worked under the Operation Stratus banner. Operation Stratus commenced in October 2018 in Drogheda to combat organised crime activity in the town and it’s wider environs.
“It was a particularly challenging for us dealing with two warring gangs, involved in trying to take control of the town and its drug dealing market,” Chief Supt Mangan said. “We received phenomenal support from the public. We received a lot of intelligence in from the public as regards to drug dealing and the those involved.”
Crime figures for the Drogheda district for the year to date, presented to the meeting by Drogheda Garda Superintenent Andrew Watters, showed that will the majority of crimes had seen a marked decrease in detections and reports year-on-year, the number of individuals arrested for the sale and supply of drugs in Drogheda increased by 37%, with the number of persons arrested for possession saw a small increase.
“The figures don’t lie. In excess of 90 people have been arrested in Drogheda for drug dealing. It is huge for a town of Drogheda’s size,” he continued.
The number of people arrested in Drogheda charged with Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, possession of controlled drugs for unlawful sale or supply, rose by 25 between January 1 and November 1 2020, compared with the same period last year – from 68 to 93.