Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 360 & 362 - Public order offences [52700/13 & 52721/13].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 360 & 362 - Public order offences [52700/13 & 52721/13]. (10 Dec 2013)

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360. Deputy Finian McGrathasked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the escalation of violence against members of the public and gardaí; and when he will act on this matter.  [52700/13] 

 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter):  I am, of course, concerned about the incidence of all crime, and violent crime in particular. However, I must draw the Deputy's attention to the official recorded crime statistics, published by the Central Statistics Office, which show reductions in 12 out of the 14 categories for which figures are given in the twelve months ending 30 June 2013. In relation to concerns about street crime the figures show a substantial reduction in public order offences of 14.6%. In addition, the incidence of assault causing harm fell by 9.3%.

 

The commitment of An Garda Síochána to tackling violent crimes is set out in the National Policing Plan for 2013 which includes objectives to address all forms of violent crime through strong enforcement and crime prevention strategies, working with all relevant partners. In this regard there is continuing Garda participation in a wide range of local fora, including Joint Policing Committees, partnership programmes such as Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch as well as recent innovations such as the Text Alert Scheme and the development of Garda community clinics.

 

The existing legislative framework provides substantial provisions to counteract this sort of crime including strong provisions under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Acts and the Intoxication Liquor Acts. In particular, the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2003 provides the Gardaí with powers to deal with late night street violence and anti-social conduct attributable to excessive drinking and the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 gives further powers to the Gardaí to tackle misuse of alcohol. These include provisions to allow Gardaí seize alcohol to prevent underage drinking in public places and to forestall public disorder or damage to property.

 

In relation to violence aimed at the Gardaí themselves, there is specific legislation in place to deal with assaults of, or threats to, emergency workers in front line positions, including members of An Garda Síochána. This is contained in section 19 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) 1994 Act (as amended by section 185 Criminal Justice Act 2006) and provides penalties on summary conviction of a fine or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both or, on conviction on indictment, of a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or both.

 

I am confident that An Garda Síochána will continue to deliver a robust and appropriate response to violent crime. In this regard I am advised that local Garda Management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

 

 

Public order offences

362. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will instruct the Garda Commissioner to deploy a second public order van to the Temple Bar area over the Christmas-New Year season to tackle alcohol related crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52721/13]

 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Dublin City Centre Policing Plan, which is a high visibility Policing Plan for the Dublin Garda Region including Dublin City Centre, has been operational since June 2013.

 

I am further informed that a specific plan is in place in the Dublin City area, including the Temple Bar area, which provides dedicated high visibility patrols on key thoroughfares at relevant times dictated by crime trends, footfall and demand led studies in the area. The plan includes the deployment of a dedicated Public Order Van each Friday and Saturday from 11am to 4am.

 

Under Operation Aughrim routine patrols, including dedicated plain clothes foot patrols, are assigned to the Temple Bar area and adjoining streets each Friday and Saturday night. Two Gardaí from the Community Policing Unit, Pearse Street Garda Station are assigned to the area and maintain liaison with the residents, businesses and other stakeholders. Ongoing consultation is maintained with the Temple Bar Traders association and the Dublin Business Improvement District (BID).

 

While the deployment of specific Garda resources is of course a matter for the Garda authorities, I am advised that the situation in the area is monitored on an ongoing basis. Local Garda Management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in the area to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:10 December 2013
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Substance related societal (social) problems > Public intoxication
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
B Substances > Alcohol
MM-MO Crime and law > Public order offence

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