GARDAI have begun a new stop and search offensive to tackle a recent increase in knife attacks in Dublin’s north inner city.
A task force has been assembled as part of the new measures to address the issue by apprehending knife wielding criminals and to ultimately rid the weapons from the streets of the capital.
"An Garda Síochána in the north inner city have initiated a policing operation in response to a number of recent incidents in the area," said Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, as reported by the Irish Times.
The force was unable to comment further on the operation, which is now active, or on individual cases.
There have been at least six stabbings in the city over the past two weeks, including one incident where 16-year-old Josh Dunne, a talented footballer, was tragically murdered. Two other teens needed hospital treatment for their injuries.
In another shocking incident, a doctor in his 50s was subjected to a vicious knife attack where he was slashed in the neck, stomach, and arms as he attempted to defend himself against muggers trying to steal his scooter, according to an Irish Sun report.
Coming under pressure to mount an official response, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to discuss the measures that will be taken.
There is no apparent connection between the incidents, Garda sources say, though the situation is being closely monitored as it develops.
A common theme of recent attacks has been the targeting of delivery workers, who stress that this has been going on for over a year. Some drivers have started wearing unmarked clothing and using logo-free delivery bags to avoid being targeted.
The delivery giant Deliveroo has met with Garda to relay their drivers’ concerns and discuss what steps could be taken to ensure their safety.
Due to the significant increase in violent robberies, some drivers refuse to deliver to certain areas within the city.
Despite the increased police presence, delivery drivers have been critical of both Garda and Deliveroo for the failure to address their safety concerns, the Irish Times reports.
Deliveroo has released a statement condemning "all forms of attacks or violence against riders".
"Having sought a meeting at the earliest opportunity, we welcomed a discussion with gardaí today to discuss our concerns about rider protection and safety. We have also been speaking with riders and relayed their views to the gardaí.
"Riders are carrying out a vital role in their communities and violence against them is completely unacceptable. The security and safety of riders is our absolute priority and we take every step to ensure they feel safe when on the road."