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Operation Citizen – An Garda Síochána Policing Operation, Dublin City Centre

Issue Date: 5 November 2021

Operation Citizen commenced in Dublin City Centre on the 22nd October 2021.

  • In excess of 100 Gardaí patrolling Dublin City Centre each weekend evening
  • On a daily basis there are in excess of 20 Gardaí on foot/ mountain bike patrols, supported by 12 (24 members) mobile patrols from the 4 central Garda stations
  • 8 Gardaí now full time assigned to specifically patrol River Liffey Boardwalk, Quays and environs every day 4pm – 4am
  • 30 additional Gardaí deployed on beat patrols in City Centre Friday, Saturday, Sunday evening supported by 5 (10 members) Regional Armed patrols (1 dedicated to city centre) and Garda National Public Order Unit (25 personnel on mobile patrols), Garda Mounted Unit and Garda Dog Unit
  • In excess of 500 additional hours policing each week

An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring that the public realm and amenity that Dublin City Centre is, is a safe place to live, visit, socialise, conduct business and enjoy.

Operation Citizen is focused on reassuring the public, residents, visitors, businesses and workers that Dublin City Centre is a positive safe environment, notwithstanding the wide range of complex social and professional dynamics which are to be found in Dublin City, the same as any other large urban environment.

Particular focus is being placed on anti-social behaviour, public order and quality of life issues, assaults and high volume crimes.

This will be achieved by increased visible policing particularly at key locations and further maximising the impact of that visibility.

In addition to resources from the DMR North Central and South Central divisions, the operation is supported by resources from the wider Dublin Region, Garda Roads Policing Units, the Garda National Public Order Unit and Garda Operational Support Units (Mounted Unit and Dog Unit).

The Operation will also focus on community and stakeholder engagement.  The positive use of the Dublin City Centre public realm is not just an issue for An Garda Síochána.  An Garda Síochána continue to positively engage with key stakeholders such as Dublin City Council, Dublin Business Improvement District, Business groups, in particular the hospitality sector and voluntary bodies in addition to the formal interaction within the Dublin City Centre Business Forum and the High Level Street Issues Committee chaired by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The operation is monitored on a daily basis by Assistant Commissioner Dublin Region, Anne Marie Cagney and the Chief Superintendents of the DMR South Central and North Central Divisions and Superintendents with responsibility for Store Street and Pearse Street Garda Districts. 

An Garda Síochána continues to provide ongoing support to the Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to business and society through our normal daily policing functions.  An Garda Síochána is cognisant of the ongoing re-opening of society, including most recently the re-opening of the night time economy.  We will all need to take steps individually and collectively in our everyday lives to keep this risk under control, in particular by:

  • acting fast, isolating and getting tested if we have symptoms 
  • wearing our face coverings where appropriate 
  • making sure that indoor spaces are well ventilated
  • maintaining adequate social distancing whenever appropriate
  • covering our coughs and sneezes and keeping our hands clean

Key statistics:

  • Dublin City Centre is policed on a daily basis by members from the 2 City Centre Divisions consisting of the following stations:

o DMR South Central

§ Pearse Street, Kevin Street (Kilmainham, Donnybrook, Irishtown)

o DMR North Central § Store Street, Bridewell, (Mountjoy, Fitzgibbbon Street)

A snapshot of resources directly available on outdoor patrols from the 4 central Garda stations at any time shows there are a minimum of 20 Gardaí on foot/ mountain bike patrols, supported by 12 (24 members) mobile patrols

  • 2 units of 1 Sergeant and 7 Gardaí, (16 members in total) are now specifically assigned and ringfenced under Operation Citizen to patrol the Liffey Boardwalk, Quays and adjoining streets on a daily basis 4pm – 4am.
  • Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 4pm up to 30 additional Gardaí are deployed specifically on foot patrols in the City Centre, resourced from outside the 2 core city centre divisions
  • A minimum of 5 (10 members) Regional Armed patrols (1 dedicated to city centre)
  • Every Friday and Saturday evening, a Garda National Public Order Unit of 25 personnel (on mobile patrols) patrol the City Centre.  Additional patrols in line with Operational Requirements
  • Garda Operational Support Units (Garda Mounted Unit and Garda Dog Unit) provide patrols on an ongoing basis
  • In excess of 500 additional hours policing provided each week
  • To date, during the first full week of Operation Citizen (25/10/21 – 31/10/21) including Bank Holiday Monday (25/10/21) and Halloween (31/10/2021) there have been in excess of 50 arrests and 65 charges preferred before the courts.
  • Prisoner management protocols in place to retain patrolling Gardaí on the street maximising visibility

Provisional Crime statistics, up to week ending 31st October 2021, continue to demonstrate reductions across the vast majority of crime types compared to the same year to date period in 2020 despite far greater public restrictions in place in 2020 and the current far higher public usage of public spaces.  

                                           Dublin Region North Central South Central

Assaults Causing Harm                      0%             -2%             0%

Minor Assault                                -6%             -4%           -18%

Public Order Offences                    -11%           -20%            -3%

Drunkenness Offences                     -5%           -10%            -5%

Crimes Against the Person                -4%             -6%          -10%

Theft from Shop                            -15%           -15%           +3%

Theft from Person                          -46%           -46%          -53%

Theft from Vehicle                      -35%            -18%          -23%

Theft of Pedal cycle                      -17%              -9%          -13%

Robbery from the Person              -23%            -20%            -2%


*All crime statisticsare operational, provisional and subject to change.


  • Official Crimestatistics, published by the Central Statistics Office (underreservation), for Quarter 2 2021 show a National drop in
    • attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and relatedoffences down 8.7%
    • Damage to property and to the environment fell by 5.8% and
    • Public order and other social code offences dropped by 9.9%. *www.cso.ie/en/statistics/crimeandjustice
    • There are approximately 600 hospitality businesses with LiquorLicensing licences located within the City Centre.
  • Footfall figuresin Dublin City BID (Business Improvement District) show that for weekending Sunday 31st October 2021
    • the total number of visitors to Dublin Bid was 2,455,967 o the total number of visitors on Grafton Street was in excess of435,500
    • the total number of visitors on O’Connell Street was in excess of250,000
    • the busiest day was Saturday with 438,340 visitors