Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 83, 84 & 88 - Anti-social behaviour [38579/14, 38580/14, 38659/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 83, 84 & 88 - Anti-social behaviour [38579/14, 38580/14, 38659/14]. (09 Oct 2014)

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83. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the recent discussions she has had recently with An Garda Síochána regarding the problem of anti-social behaviour on Dublin city streets (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38579/14] 

84. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views that urgent action is needed to address the problem of anti-social behaviour, including drug-taking and aggressive begging on Dublin city streets (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38580/14] 

88. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views that more gardaí are needed to patrol Dublin city centre (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38659/14] 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 83, 84 and 88 together. 

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the deployment of Garda personnel and Garda operations in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Dublin city centre. From my discussions with the Garda authorities I am assured that Garda management in the Dublin Metropolitan Region keep this deployment under continuing review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, including with respect to concerns about public order and anti-social behaviour, so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of policing resources. 

I do of course appreciate the issues of concern which the Deputy has raised and would draw his attention to the Dublin City Centre Policing Plan which has been operational since June 2013. Garda actions under the Plan include dedicated high visibility patrols in key commercial and public thoroughfares. These patrols are informed by crime trends, demand studies and footfall in the areas in question. I am also aware that An Garda Síochána engages extensively with business and community interests in the city centre area with respect to crime prevention, enforcement and policing concerns.

The Garda approach includes focusing resources on specific areas of the city according to need. As part of this, a number of targeted city centre policing operations are in place. 

These operations include Operation Pier, which concentrates on the South Quays and Temple Bar area. This operation includes the designation of certain areas as "hotspots" for anti-social behaviour and regular uniformed and plain clothes patrols. Other Garda Operations in the city centre include Operation Spire which is focussed on the O’Connell Street and North Inner City areas, and Operation Stilts which is an ongoing overt policing operation targeting anti-social behaviour and drug-related crime in Dublin city centre locations. 

I am conscious of the perspectives of business and community interests about the effects of certain types of crime and anti-social behaviour on the environment for business and leisure and on the overall quality of life for residents. Some of the problems faced are linked to disorder associated with abuse of alcohol and An Garda Síochána work closely with a wide range of businesses involved in the entertainment and nighttime economy to address these issues so that people can enjoy themselves without concern for their welfare.

Other challenges have their origin in even more complex social phenomena which go well beyond the capacity of criminal justice agencies to address on their own. Dealing with these matters requires a co-ordinated approach from state agencies involved in social, housing, health and drug treatment services, as well as through partnership with business, community and voluntary groups. An Garda Síochána is already a long term partner in a range of local consultative and representative structures in Dublin and elsewhere. I am considering how we can step up this cooperation with a view to developing collaborative solutions to the range of issues which affect policing and the overall quality of the environment in our urban centres, and I intend to engage further with the Garda authorities in that regard.

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:9 October 2014
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Substance related societal (social) problems
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime > Substance related crime > Crime associated with substance production and distribution
MM-MO Crime and law > Public order offence
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime prevention
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Community anti-crime or legal assistance programme
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin

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