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Wanted man arrested as police conduct cross-border crime operation in South Armagh

Robin Blair, Neighbourhood Sergeant for South Armagh carries out licence checks at one of the vehicle check points in South Armagh.

A 34-year-old man wanted by police for cross-border crime has been charged following an operation between PSNI and Garda officers.

The man was arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including three counts of theft and grievous bodily harm and appeared before Newry Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday).

The officers from the PSNI were part of the cross-border operation targeting criminal activity passing through the South Armagh and Newry areas on Wednesday, June 28.

Working alongside colleagues in An Garda Síochána, as part of the Joint Agency task Force (JATF), the high visibility operation involved a number of vehicle check points.

Officers from Newry CID, Neighbourhood, Interceptor Team & Tactical Support Groups were involved in the patrols.

Adam Corner, Neighbourhood Inspector for South Armagh said: “The aim of this operation, using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology was to target and potentially stop vehicles and individuals linked to criminality.

“Our focus was to target criminals we suspect who have been involved in a number of recent commercial and domestic burglaries where high-value items have been stolen, as well as those involved in various traffic and drug-related offences.

“Often we find with domestic burglaries in border areas, criminals target properties and commercial premises so that they can use the border as a quick getaway route into the South of Ireland in an attempt to evade the justice process.”

Pictured at one of the vehicle check points during the operation are members of the PSNI’s Neighbourhood Policing Team for South Armagh alongside colleagues from An Garda Síochána.

He continued: “Burglaries in the Newry, Mourne and Down district have risen in the past three months, the aim of Wednesday’s operation was to attempt to thwart this activity and protect local communities.

“In total, over 20 trailers were stopped and checked, as well as over 300 cars and other vehicle types and there were numerous vehicle check points across the entire operation on both sides of the border.

“A number of persons will also be reported to the Public Prosecution Service for offences such as driving with no insurance.”

Inspector Corner added: “Co-operating with An Garda Síochána, we will continue our ongoing effort to prevent cross-border crime and disrupt criminals and organised crime gangs who seek to target our communities.

“This is the first of many operations that we will be doing alongside our colleagues in An Garda Síochána and you can expect to see us out and about conducting vehicle check points over the next while.

“We recognise the harm caused to people as a result of such criminal activity and we are committed to working with our partners to keep everyone safe on both sides of the border.

“I am once again asking for the support of the community and would encourage all householders to be vigilant around their homes and report any suspicious activity to police at the earliest opportunity.”

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