Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Niall Collins TD, has called on the Government to commit to recruiting an extra 100 Gardaí for the streets of Dublin to tackle the city’s increasing problem with anti-social behaviour. The call comes after tourists and children witnessed a shocking assault on a young man in broad daylight on Henry Street yesterday.
Deputy Collins stated: “It’s obvious to everyone except the Government that Dublin needs more Gardaí. It is becoming a scary place for locals and tourists alike. Businesses already under pressure are enraged that no one is taking pride or responsibility for the city centre. There is clearly a need for more Gardaí on the streets and a dedicated Public Order Unit for Dublin city centre to combat drug dealing and anti-social behaviour on the capital’s streets.
“This unit, which we proposed in May of this year, would be instructed to focus specifically on public order and anti-social behaviour and would have its own dedicated support team and management structure within An Garda Síochána. It would be present and visible on Dublin’s main streets on a 24 hour basis and should have its membership numbers ring-fenced from all other Garda units.
“This Government has allowed a crisis develop in our capital, where locals and tourists alike fear for their safety on our main streets. There are often times both during the day and night when our commercial centre, including O’Connell Street and Grafton Street are very threatening places.
“Similarly, aggressive begging on public transport and in particular at Luas stops and other locations, along with drug dealing must be dealt with before Dublin gets a reputation as a crime ridden city. It appears to me that this Government has no pride in the capital city and refuses to even acknowledge the problem which has developed in the past three years. Only three weeks ago the Tánaiste, in a bizarre statement in the Dáil, said she was “surprised” when Fianna Fáil raised the matter of crime in Dublin and said the Government’s plans for tackling criminality in the city were “hugely successful”. The citizens of Dublin should not suffer because of the ignorance of a Government that doesn’t want to know. It’s time for more Gardaí on the beat and a dedicated unit to stop the degradation of our capital city.
“The recruitment of 100 extra Gardaí for Dublin and the establishment of a dedicated public order unit for the city centre is now absolutely necessary to stop our capital’s streets sliding into aggressive lawlessness. Fianna Fáil has already committed to recruiting 500 extra Gardaí in our pre-budget submission to bolster the Garda force. We have already committed the €1.89 million needed to recruit and retain 100 extra Gardaí for Dublin city”.