Border operation to tackle rural crime and human trafficking

Multiple offences detected.

A Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) involving Gardaí conducted a number of operations along border counties with a focus on rural crime and human trafficking.

The high-visibility operation took place Monday, October 16, on both sides of the border from Donegal to Louth.

It involved close co-operation between An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), while a large number of Garda units including the Armed Support Unit and Air Support Unit also assisted at patrols and checkpoints throughout the day.

Assistance was also provided by Customs Officers from Revenue.

The aim of the policing operation was to prevent and detect criminality along the border and resulted in the identification of multiple offences.

To coincide with the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Day on Wednesday, October 18, Gardaí from the Garda National Protective Services Bureau and the Garda National Immigration Bureau, assisted by colleagues from the Workplace Relations Commission led a targeted operation which involved the search of a number of business premises.

This operation had a particular focus in identifying indicators of human trafficking, labour exploitation and sexual exploitation. The operation was successful not only identifying potential criminality but also in raising awareness around human trafficking.

Assistant Commissioner Cliona Richardson, North Western Region, and Co-chair of the JATF Operations Coordination Group stated: "This day of action is part of a coordinated approach in which An Garda Síochána together with our partner agencies in Revenue, the Workplace Relations Commission and our colleagues in the PSNI worked on our shared objective of keeping communities on both sides of the border safe. By disrupting, detecting and preventing criminal activity we improve the safety of all, and in particular, those most vulnerable.

"It is envisaged that our Human Trafficking operation will raise awareness amongst the community and encourage people to come forward should they be affected by or have any information in relation to this type of criminality.

"We will continue to work with our partners in this jurisdiction and in Northern Ireland in investigating all types of cross-border crime.”