By Rachel Cunningham
Community safety partnerships have been established between local authorities and gardaí in response to recent incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Dublin Fingal Deputy, Alan Farrell, described this new partnership approach as a more effective response to anti-social behaviour and violence in our cities and towns.
The Fine Gael TD said: “Anti-social behaviour, when it happens, is a scourge on our community and all of society working together has a role in preventing and discouraging incidents of crime. Community safety is at the heart of the government’s plan to ensure more visible community policing, in line with the Report of the Commission for the Future of Policing so that people feel safer where they live, work and socialise.
“These Partnerships are being established under the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill to develop local plans where communities can prioritise actions and needs which are to be addressed.
“Making our streets safer and preventing harm and crime doesn’t rest with one agency, and we are shifting towards adopting an approach that includes other departments, education authorities, local authorities and the community groups who know best the needs of their communities and the issues at play.”
Training will be provided to support the work of the partnerships, including individual training for residents to understand their role and to build confidence in representing their community. Three pilot partnerships are being established in Dublin’s north inner city.
The Minister for Special Education And Inclusion, Josepha Madigan, also expressed her support of the urgent implementation of tougher measures to tackle anti-social behaviour across Dublin city and county.
She said: “Our citizens deserve to know that their safety and security is a top priority. Law and order is a core value of this government and we must continue to ensure that community safety policies are prioritised, not just in An Garda Síochána but in health and social services, education authorities and local authorities. This all over government approach will ensure that our cities, towns, and villages are safe.
“Dublin is much more than our capital city – but also the industrial, economic and cultural centre of our nation. I have been angered by a number of recent incidents that have taken place which underline the need to implement our plans as quickly as possible.
“Recent violent and unprovoked attacks have stoked up a great deal of unease about people’s personal safety on the streets of Dublin. As a woman and mother, I know this feeling all too well. It is clear that a targeted approach is needed.”
Minister Madigan described the Policing, Security And Community Safety Bill as “a landmark piece of legislation that provides for the most wide ranging and coherent reform of policing in a generation”.
She commented: “Garda visibility and targeted policing are crucial in trying to deter acts of aggression and criminality. It is not enough that our streets are safe, it is also important that residents feel safe. Most importantly, the bill recognises that local communities themselves know what the best responses will be to improve safety in their own areas.”
Minister Madigan concluded by highlighting the need to prevent anti-social behaviour, stating: “A new anti-social behaviour forum has also been set up with the aim of tackling anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“The government also recently published Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027, which provides a framework to preventing offending anti-social behaviour occurring; diverting children and young adults who commit a crime away from further offending; and enhancing criminal justice processes, detention and post-detention measures, to provide consistent support and promote positive personal development for young offenders.”
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