Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice & Equality Jim O’Callaghan, along with his colleagues on the party’s Justice team will shortly bring forward a new policy to specifically target anti-social behaviour.

“Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our society. It damages our sense of community, degrades our environment and is causing untold levels of stress and fear in local areas, particularly among older people”, said Deputy O’Callaghan.

“For too long, anti-social behaviour has been discounted as an “annoyance” or an “inconvenience” rather than being recognised for what it is – criminal behaviour. Last week, my colleague Deputy John Lahart raised this issue with Minister Charlie Flanagan. The figures he obtained clearly show that the current legislation is not fit for purpose and is in need of radical overhaul. The fact that so few people have been punished under the legislation proves that it is not fit for purpose.

“There are communities in Dublin that feel frightened because of the behaviour by individuals or groups of teenagers whose activities are not being addressed by Gardaí.  Many people feel intimidated and threatened and are reluctant to walk through their local village or town for fear of being accosted by these groups.

“This anti-social behaviour has gone unpunished for too long.  I, along with my colleagues Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee, John Lahart TD, John Curran TD and Jack Chambers TD, have been working on a suite of reforms to tackle this issue, and I hope to finalise and publish this document within the coming weeks”.