Dublin City Councillor Catherine Ardagh has raised concerns about a new wave of criminality in the Crumlin-Kimmage area, where residents are being intimidated into handing over cash to criminals to ‘protect’ their cars outside their homes.

The local Fianna Fáil Councillor has contacted the gardaí following reports of several incidents where residents were asked to pay €50 to gangs to keep their cars safe overnight.

In one case, the residents of one road in Crumlin were forced to park their cars at Crumlin Garda Station overnight for fear of vandalism and theft.

“Essentially we are seeing brazen criminals threaten residents into paying them not to vandalise or steal their cars. It’s happening on a nightly basis in some cases. It’s causing great distress among many local residents who are not only afraid to leave their cars outside their own homes, they are now fearful of their own safety,” said Cllr Ardagh.

“The family of one resident contacted me after her windscreen was smashed in outside her home, just days after her wing mirror was pulled off. Her neighbours had also been threatened, with criminals demanding €50 to keep each car safe overnight.

“I have contacted the local gardaí and I am assured that the Superintendent is taking this very seriously. We cannot allow a situation where criminal thugs are threatening ordinary residents on a daily basis. This is the lowest form of pathetic criminality. People who work hard to pay for their cars and keep their homes should not be subject to such threats in the very place that they should feel safe.

“The latest crime figures show that there were 157 cars reported stolen in the Dublin South Garda Division in the first three months of this year. But clearly these figures are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crime against property, as these figures don’t reflect the increasing level of vandalism and threats in the area.”