Cablegate: 2007 Annual Osac Crime and Safety Report.
DE RUEHDL #0020/01 0140854
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140854Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY DUBLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8832
UNCLAS DUBLIN 000020
FOR DS/DSS/ITA, DS/DSS/OSAC, DS/IP/EUR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC APER AMGT EI
SUBJECT: 2007 ANNUAL OSAC CRIME AND SAFETY REPORT.
REF: 07 STATE 168473
(U) Dublin's Annual Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Crime
and Safety Report - 2007.
I. Overall Crime and Safety:
1. (U) Although official Police reports for 2007 will not be
available until later in the year, RSO police contacts have reported
that crime overall in Ireland has risen over the last twelve months.
There has been an increase in activities by organized criminal
groups in Ireland. Preliminary reports state that Homicides in
Ireland have increased 20% in 2007, with the majority of these
involving organized crime groups, although some innocent bystanders
have been fatally injured as a result. Drug related offences have
increased 25% from 2006.
2. (U) Violent crime involving American tourists is rare. There were
about five to six muggings /street robberies, on average, per month
reported to the Embassy by U.S. citizens. American tourists tend to
become victims of crime when they drop normal security practices due
to their misconception that there is little crime in Ireland. In
general, Americans tend to be victims of larceny and pick pocketing
in the busy downtown area of Dublin. Some Americans have been
caught up in fraud scams involving ATM bank machines, credit cards
and the Internet. Vehicle burglaries are not uncommon with criminals
targeting American tourists using rental cars at popular tourist
destinations. Residential burglaries are common in Irish cities
with criminals focusing on the more affluent areas.
3. (U) In 2007, American Citizen Services (ACS) has had to replace,
on average, 27 lost or stolen passports per month. Most of the
stolen passports were taken when purses or jackets were snatched.
Anti-American sentiment is rare, and there has been a fall-off in
the numbers of protesters the Embassy has seen in the last twelve
months. It should be noted that some Irish citizens are against the
current U.S. War on Terrorism and the U.S. presence in Iraq, and
entering into political discussions in public places should be
II. Political Violence:
4. (U) There have been no terrorist incidents in the Republic of
Ireland in 2007. The (National Police) Garda Siochana continues to
view counter terrorism as a priority issue.
III. Post Specific Concerns:
5. (U) Driving in Ireland is on the left-hand side of the road,
which sometimes causes problems for American drivers. This
difficulty is compounded by narrow, winding roads. If
planning to drive in Ireland, begin slowly so you become comfortable
and knowledgeable about your environment and vehicle, and plan your
routes before setting out. Also be aware that local drivers will
pass, both legally and
illegally, and at inopportune times. It is common practice for the
car being passed to move on to the hard shoulder on the left side of
the road. In 2007 there has been a major clamp-down on road traffic
laws in Ireland which has seen a decrease in road deaths here. The
new penalty point system, which was introduced in 2006, has created
awareness among motorists and has helped curb offences. Random
breath testing has been increased and arrests for driving under the
influence have increased 300% in 2007. The Irish Government is
moving to a zero tolerance when it comes to drinking and driving.
6. (U) There are no other post-specific concerns.
IV. Police Response:
7. (U) The National Police (Garda Siochana) is a well trained,
professional national police force of approximately 12,500 sworn
officers. There is a shortage of manpower, while the Irish
Government is working on increasing manpower to 15,000 officers by
the latter end of 2008. The National Police also started in 2006 a
Reserve Police Force of 900 individuals, to help with community
policing. It is working to increase the reserve police to 1,500
officers by the latter end of 2008. The National Police are
responsible for law enforcement throughout the Republic of Ireland.
8. (U) Support for foreigners who are the victims of crime is
excellent with a well-established victim support unit. Emergency
notification of the National Police or other emergency services is
as follows: 24 hour emergency service (police, fire, ambulance,
coast guard): Tel 999, or 112, The Garda Siochana Headquarters is in
Dublin and can be contacted at 01-666-0000.
9. (U) Women's Aid: toll free 1-800-341-900 or in Dublin at
01-868-4721, e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information log
onto www.womensaid.ie. Tourist Victim Support can be reached at
01-478-5295 or can be e-mailed email@example.com. More information can
be found on their website www.itas.ie. For assistance during
incidents of arrest or harassment, Americans should contact the
Embassy's American Citizen Services at 01-668-8777, ext 2400
V. Medical Emergencies:
10. (U) In a medical emergency call 999 or 112, the emergency phone
number and the operator will dispatch an ambulance anywhere in
Ireland. The Ambulance Service will take Patients to the closest
suitable hospital. There are six 24-hour-service hospitals in
Dublin with a bed capacity of approximately 3000. Emergency room
services tend to be oversubscribed; patients can expect waits up to
12 hours before being seen. Its not uncommon for persons treated in
an emergency room to spend up to four days in the emergency room or
surrounding hallway, waiting for a hospital room Children needing
hospital attention should be taken to one of the three children's
hospitals in the Dublin area: Tallaght, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick
Children (Crumlin), and Children's Hospital Temple Street. Outside
of Dublin, most major cities have a hospital; please consult with
emergency services to locate the nearest medical facilities.
11. (U) Each of the hospitals mentioned above have physicians and
specialists on duty with more on call. Disease control specialists
can be contacted through the Community Health Division of the
Department of Health, 01-635-4252. Medical supplies are readily
available through local suppliers who can be found in the yellow
pages. The Blood Transfusion Service Board, 01-432-2800, is a
government agency and can handle any requirement. Response time for
air medical evacuation is approximately 4-6 hours. The closest
commercial evacuation service is the Heathrow Ambulance Service
located at Heathrow International Airport in London and can be
contacted at 0044-181-897-6185.
VI. Security Tips:
12. (U) Like any other European country, Ireland has its share of
crime problems. As one might expect, Crime tends to be more
concentrated in the larger cities, such as Dublin, Limerick or Cork.
However, regardless of location, Americans visiting Ireland should
maintain the same level of awareness and institute the same security
practices prudent while visiting any large city. Items of value
should not be left in vehicles in plain view, day or night.
Criminals often watch unsuspecting tourists place valuables in their
vehicle trunks at popular tourist sites and then break in after the
individuals have moved away from the car.
13. (U) Questions can be directed to the Regional Security Officer,
Terry L. Cobble, at 011-353-1-630-6215.