530. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice if she will request An Garda Síochána to report on the outcome of Operation Tombola over the 2021 Halloween period in relation to the tackling of the increased use of fireworks and bonfires in Dublin; if additional Garda resources were put in place over the Halloween period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54289/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Under Operation Tombola an Garda Síochána combat the illegal importation, sale and use of fireworks and address related public order and anti-social behaviour. It has both an overt uniform presence and a covert element.
I am advised by the Garda Commissioner that in the lead up to Halloween this year, each Chief Superintendent in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) put in place appropriate effective measures to prevent and detect the organised importation for sale of fireworks and target anti-social behaviour. Close engagement was also maintained throughout the Halloween period with the various local authorities and appropriate interventions made on bonfires and bonfire material.
The Commissioner also advises, that comprehensive policing plans were established in each of the Garda Divisions, supported through the maximisation of resources, including, high-visibility Mobile; Beat; Pedal Cycle Patrols and Community Engagement initiatives.
All these initiatives and interventions had a particular focus on reducing instances of criminal activity, anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe.
Further, through a coordinated Regional Policing Plan, local policing plans in the DMR were supported by the deployment of the Garda National Public Order Unit in the lead up to and over the Halloween period. This unit continues to be deployed in Dublin City and surrounding areas, with particular attention given to areas identified for anti-social behaviour. Additional High Visibility resources were also put in place in each of the Garda Divisions in the DMR.
Over the Halloween period, Gardaí in the DMR were also supported by the Armed Response Unit, Emergency Response Unit, the Air Support Unit, the DMR Roads Policing Unit and national units, such as the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, Criminal Assets Bureau and the Special Detective Unit. This year, An Garda Síochána recorded 23 fireworks incidents and 13 incidents where explosives were seized in the Dublin region.