Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has pledged to tackle the scourge of crime in Dublin.

Deputy Collins said: “The dramatic increase in crime in Dublin coupled with the Government’s policy of slashing Garda numbers has resulted in many people living in fear in their own homes, in businesses under continuous threat of theft and anti-social behaviour on our streets.”

“Fianna Fáil is committed to tackling the crime epidemic in Dublin and ensuring that all citizens can live in safety and without fear.”

Deputy Collins was speaking at Leinster House after reviewing current crime figures with Dublin Spokesperson Senator Darragh O’Brien.

Deputy Collins said: “The most recent crime stats showed that burglaries in Dublin were up almost 15 per cent year on year. Rape and sexual assaults were up 15.4% with public order offences up 8.4%.  This cannot continue.”

Senator O’Brien said: “Dublin has almost 700 fewer gardai in 2015 compared to 2010.  Fianna Fáil will reverse this.

He added: “We will establish a dedicated Garda Public Order Unit for the city centre to combat drug dealing and anti-social behaviour on the capital’s main commercial streets.  This unit would be present and visible on Dublin’s main streets 24/7 and have its membership numbers ring-fenced from all other Garda units.  I know from talking to our candidates across Dublin that crime is major talking point with voters, and they are particularly concerned about assaults and car break-ins as many go unreported.

“Fianna Fáil believes that now is the time to establish Community Courts in the capital to deal with low level offences such as vandalism, shoplifting and drug use. These courts would involve input from the local community and local businesses. Community Service Orders handed down by these courts would ensure that the offender would give back to their community by carrying out work in the area where the offence took place,” concluded Senator O’Brien.

Deputy Collins added: “Fianna Fáil will also introduce a mandatory three year jail term for criminals convicted of burglary and a minimum of seven years on the third burglary conviction.  We will also establish a Sentencing Council to promote consistency in sentencing.

“The fact is that we have a government that talks tough but is fundamentally soft on crime.  That needs to change and Fianna Fáil will deliver that change.”