716. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice if she had been appraised of the work undertaken by An Garda Síochána in respect of an operation (details supplied); the length of time the operation has been in place; the arrests undertaken to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9710/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is, by law, responsible for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, including personnel matters and deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no direct role in these decisions. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use
I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Hybrid has been in operation since 5 February 2016, as a result of an escalation in firearms incidents between organised crime gangs in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. The strategic objective is to have a three pronged preventative, investigative and targeted approach.
The preventative element incorporates high visibility Divisional checkpoints across the region with uniform support from local units and Regional Traffic. Armed support on checkpoints and patrols is provided by the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, Armed Regional Support Unit, Local Detective and plain clothes units.
The investigative element involves cohesive investigation teams assigned to the murders and serious crime incidents under the direction of nominated Senior Investigating Officers supported by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation with technical and forensic investigative supports. Interpol are facilitating international enquiries.
The identification, profiling and targeting of organised crime groups within the Dublin Metropolitan Region is being focused and intelligence led under the direction of the Assistant Commissioner, Security and Intelligence, and the Detective Chief Superintendent, Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, supported by Regional Detective Units nationally and internationally.
To date, the organisation has been fully resourced to conduct this multi-faceted approach to target organised crime groups within the Dublin Metropolitan Region and significant results have been achieved by the Garda organisation’s ability to investigate this activity in a co-ordinated policing approach.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that as at 19 February 2021, in respect of the DMR North Central Division, there have been over 450 arrests associated with Operation Hybrid, together with over 4,672 Checkpoints performed, 1,359 patrols and 74 searches.