Fingal Minister Darragh O’Brien TD has called on Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, to request Balbriggan be included in the Local Community Safety Partnerships pilot programme.
Minister McEntee announced the pilot programme in November of last year, and it intends to bring together residents, businesses, community representatives, local authorities, An Garda Siochana, the HSE and Tusla to plan how to prevent crime and to reflect local safety issues.
Three pilot schemes have already been announced by the Minister in Dublin’s North Inner City, Longford and Waterford City.
Minister O’Brien has said he believes Balbriggan should be included in the pilot programme, particularly as residents grow increasingly wary of anti-social behaviour in the locality.
He said: “I have asked Minister McEntee to give serious consideration to including Balbriggan in the programme. The locations of the pilots were chosen based on factors including population density, crime rates and deprivation, and in this regard Balbriggan would most certainly meet the criteria.
“Balbriggan is a wonderful place. It is one of the youngest, fastest growing and culturally diverse large towns in Ireland. Thankfully, as has been the case across most of the country, Balbriggan saw a marked decrease in thefts and burglaries during the first three quarters of last year.
“However, as we learned from the Fingal Joint Policing Committee, assaults causing harm and drug-related crimes in the Balbriggan district saw significant increases.
“Having been a public representative in North County Dublin since 2004 I know that the fantastic community in Balbriggan are sick and tired of the instances of anti-social behaviour.
“I have hosted as well as attended many public meetings in relation to crime and policing in the area and the message is always the same – the community want to make Balbriggan a safer town for families, residents and businesses.
“I will be meeting with Minister McEntee next week and I will impress on her the importance of included a town such as Balbriggan in the pilot.”