Seven days a week additional Garda patrols planned for Dublin's city streets

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Following a number of high-profile incidents in Dublin City in recent months, city traders, gardaí and Dublin City Council have met to discuss the prevention of further violence, and to ensure the safety of visiting tourists and inner-city residents alike.

Following a commitment of €10m in funding for Garda overtime and policing in the capital, Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee welcomed details announced by Angela Willis, Assistant Garda Commissioner on Tuesday last as to how the allocated funding would be administered.

The additional funding will be used to bolster high visibility policing in Dublin City,  which will hopefully stem the isolated violent attacks which have occurred in Dublin in recent months.

New policing tactics include: an increased deployment of public order units and other specialist units in Dublin City Centre along with Garda overtime of up to 48,500 extra hours per month across all Dublin Garda Divisions,

Already, a total of 76 new Gardaí have been assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) year, including 62 from last month’s attestation at Templemore.

A spokesperson for Minister McEntee’s office stated even more recruits will be coming on stream in the DMR as new classes graduate from Templemore every three months, following a Covid enforced pause in recruitment.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Willis added: “Days of Action” are proposed to be held across the city by Gardaí, intensifying the campaign to curb unprovoked incidents in the inner city, and to instil confidence for residents, traders and visiting tourists.

On Sunday last, a man in his 30s was stabbed near Grafton Street and rushed to hospital where he is now recovering.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Deputy Pa Daly said: “We have held a number of engagements with a number of business owners and workers over the past number of weeks.

“We welcome the fact the government is now going to reach out to those affected, along with the City Council, to address these issues.”

He continued: “High profile incidents will, of course, create concern for some who are visiting our city and people we spoke to have voiced a fear that tourism could be affected. We also need to be mindful of people who live in and around the city, north and south. The government can and should do more to ensure a safe environment for everyone.”

Minister McEntee is committed to ensuring Dubliners working and living in our capital, and those who visit the city, are safe and feel safe. An enhanced visible policing presence is central to achieving this objective and Minister McEntee is in regular contact with An Garda Síochána in this regard.

Assistant Commissioner Willis noted €2m of the €10m would be dedicated to increased public order capacity in the city with an enhanced visible Garda presence at strategic locations including uniformed Gardaí supported by the Garda Air Support Unit, the Garda Mounted Unit, the Garda Dog Unit, Regional Armed Response Units, and Road Policing Units to enhance visibility in the city centre. Increased patrols will be on duty seven days a week, rather than just at weekends.

There will be planned days of high impact operations in the city centre and across all DMR divisions and notably, high visibility patrols on city transport networks and near transport service.

An enhanced “Operation Citizen”, including a focus on tackling street level drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and the seizure of alcohol within the city centre is also proposed.

Minister McEntee said: “I also look forward in the coming weeks to launching the Community Safety Plan for Dublin’s north inner city. This plan, drawn up by the Community Safety Partnership recognises that increasing safety is not just the responsibility of An Garda Síochána alone. It also requires significant input from the local community and other State services, such as local authorities, health, education and others.”

The North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnerships (LCSPs) is one of three pilots established by Minister McEntee ahead of the rollout of the partnerships locally next year. The Dublin LCSP is due to publish its Community Safety Plan in the coming weeks.

In the coming weeks, it is expected Minister McEntee will also announce the latest round of funding grants under the Community Safety Innovation fund, established to reinvest the ill-gotten proceeds of crime as seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) into local projects to improve community safety.

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