Dublin Mid West Deputy, Emer Higgins, has claimed that the introduction of 500 additional policing hours, as part of a new operation by An Garda Síochána in Dublin city, will minimise anti-social behaviour in local communities.
The Fine Gael TD said that anti-social behaviour, public order and assaults are being targeted through increased visible policing at key locations, under the newly-unveiled Operation Citizen.
Deputy Higgins stated: “High visibility policing is known to have a positive impact, as a garda presence on our streets makes people feel safer and acts as a deterrent for people who might engage in anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
“Figures have shown a decrease in most crimes during the pandemic, with public order offences down by 10 per cent in the first half of 2021, compared to 2020. This could be due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, as more people were required to stay at home.”
Despite this decrease, Deputy Higgins acknowledged that anti-social behaviour has continued to be an issue in the city centre: “Nevertheless, there have been worrying incidents that have led to concern . We have all seen videos on social media of anti-social behaviour and violence on streets and parks in Dublin City.”
Operation Citizen, which commenced last month, has introduced over 100 gardaí patrolling Dublin’s city centre on weekend evenings. On a daily basis, there are 20 gardaí on foot and mountain bike patrols, supported by 24 mobile patrol members from the four central Garda stations. Eight gardaí have also been assigned to patrol the River Liffey Boardwalk, Quays and the surrounding area every day, from 4pm until 4am.
“All in all, the additional resourcing amounts to over 500 additional hours policing each week in Dublin City Centre alone. I have also been informed that dedicated operations and local policing plans are also in place in towns and cities across the country.
“I know the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and the government is aware of the negative impact anti-social behaviour has our communities and is constantly working with An Garda Síochána and resident and community stakeholders to tackle the problem.
“It is so important that people feel safe in Dublin, whether they live here, work here, own a business or are visiting our wonderful capital city,” Deputy Higgins concluded.
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