Home > Dail Eireann debate. Covid-19 (Justice and Equality): statements.

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Covid-19 (Justice and Equality): statements. (04 Jun 2020)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

…Deputy Martin Kenny: During this pandemic there has been an upsurge in the number of checkpoints placed on main roads and routes. That is understandable but in many other parts of the country people will often say that they do not have that fear anymore because there is never going to be a Garda checkpoint anywhere. We have to recognise that there needs to be a little more work done by An Garda Síochána on the ground to ensure we change that. 

Finally, the youth diversion programme needs more resources and needs to be spread out much more, particularly throughout those black spots where we have difficulties with drug crime. 

Deputy Denise Mitchell: I am proud of my community and of my constituents who make it a great place to live. I thank the community groups, educators and gardaí for working as hard as they do to try to make our society a better place. However, there is an ongoing drug feud in my area and communities across my constituency are dealing with a never-ending cycle of living in fear and under intimidation. While I understand that particular pressure has been put on the Garda to implement the emergency legislation that was passed in March, the day-to-day crimes in my area have not ceased as a result of lockdown. Most recently, there have been incidents of a more violent nature and some very vicious attacks have been carried out, including stabbings, shootings and young lads attacked with hammers. 

They have rocked our communities. 

I have raised with the Minister in the past the fact that the number of community gardaí in Coolock dropped dramatically compared with the number assigned in 2012. Communities and constituents in Dublin Bay North should be able to go outside their doors without worrying about whether they will be caught up in any of these incidents. They should be able to feel safe in their own homes and communities. I have been contacted by numerous constituents in recent weeks and people are afraid. Grandparents who are worried about their grandchildren have contacted me. Young people have contacted me because they are afraid to go out with their friends. 

The most effective crime policies focus on prevention, and community policing is key to this approach. This means intensive and systematic social investment in marginalised areas. Victims of crime must also be given better supports and follow-up on their cases. This means providing intervention and support services for individuals and families at risk, accountable community policing, and a proactive, routine and continuous engagement with local communities and authorities…. 

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