NewsCrime Desk

Gangsters use high-tech CCTV to alert them when rivals drive by

Crime DeskBy Eamon Dillon
Liam Byrne's house
Liam Byrne's house

IRELAND’s organised crime gangs are using high-tech electronic surveillance that’s better than the equipment used by gardaí.

Gangsters are spending thousands on security cameras along with the computer software to alert them when rivals or the Gardaí drive by.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is legally available for anyone with a camera feed, similar to the systems used in Traffic Corps vehicles.

“These guys have it programmed so that if a car appears twice on their road it sends out an alert. It wouldn’t take a genius to start collecting the reg plates of unmarked Garda cars,” said a source.

It is feared journalists could also have been targeted using the same software, according to sources.

Gang boss Liam Byrne has several cameras installed at Raleigh Square in Crumlin, which have been observed tracking vehicles, said sources.

The family home of Wayne Bradley and his brother Alan has cameras installed at the front which could cover the busy Ratoath Road.

Wayne Bradley's home

In Limerick, the city’s mobsters follow the ‘a camera at the front and a dog at the back’ rule.

Mobster Christy Keane, whose house is protected by tall iron gates, has a camera installed, according to sources.

However, having the best of security systems turned out to be no protection for slain mobster Dougie Moran, who was shot dead at his Lucan home despite having several cameras installed.

Liam Byrne's home in Raleigh Square

Sources say that the same ANPR technology can’t be effectively used on many of the static Garda CCTV systems installed in cities and towns around Ireland.

“Some of the systems are at least 20 years old and the picture quality just isn’t good enough,” claimed a security source.

The same source rubbished the recent announcement that Gardaí will get new facial recognition software to target and track criminals and terrorists.

'Fat' Freddie Thompson's house

“That kind of technology is at least five years away at the moment,” the source told the Sunday World.

Last month, Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan launched the force’s strategy document until 2021, which included high-tech cameras and recognition software.

However, both the Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors withdrew their support for the current modernisation programme.