WORK on a facility to tackle cybercrime in the southern region was one of An Garda Síochána’s achievements that was singled out in its 2020 annual report, which was published today.
It said: “As part of the regionalisation of An Garda Síochána cybercrime capacity, offices were established in Mullingar, Wexford and Galway.
"The completion of a facility at Anglesea St, Cork, to enhance cybercrime capability in the Southern Region also got underway.”
Cork is the location for one of four satellite hubs of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB).
The report continued: “With the assistance of Garda ICT [information and communications technology], an extension of the secure GNCCB network was delivered to each location and some hardware has been installed.”
Further work on this continued in the early months of this year.
Policing in 2020 involved a major mobilisation of the organisation around the Covid-19 pandemic regulations and restrictions. Almost 400 gardaí were redeployed to the frontline, while 522 trainee and probationer gardaí were attested early for the operation.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “2020 was an unprecedented year for the country that required an exceptional response from An Garda Síochána to help keep people safe during a global pandemic. This saw An Garda Síochána and its personnel react swiftly to provide reassurance to the public that we were there to help them through incredibly difficult and challenging times.
“Despite the significant pressures from Covid-19, our core function of keeping people safe by preventing and detecting crime also had to be maintained in 2020.
“While crime rates did fall across most areas, criminals still sought to exploit the pandemic. In particular, significant amounts of drugs, cash, and guns were seized, and major figures in organised crime gangs were brought before the courts.
“This work saved lives and degraded the capacity of such crime gangs. Low-level street dealing was also targeted by divisional drug units to support communities blighted by this,” Commissioner Harris said.
“Of course, none of what was achieved during the year by the organisation would have been possible without the great work by Garda personnel, who had to react rapidly to very challenging and difficult professional and personal situations.”
During the year, Operation Faoiseamh was set up to deal with domestic violence.