Homeowners must know that the justice system is on their side when it comes to dealing with antisocial behaviour,” said Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan as the number and frequency of ASB incidents grows across the country.

Deputy O’Callaghan was commenting after yet more reports of unacceptable behaviour in Cork made the headlines this week.

“I’ve long believed that antisocial behaviour needs to be recognised for what it is – criminal behaviour. There seems to be a prevailing opinion in Government circles that it’s just an annoyance for homeowners and residents.

“Residents just don’t feel that the system is on their side, and that the harassment they are feeling is being given the priority it warrants.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. It has a devastating effect on local communities, and can turn once quiet residential areas into what can only be described as ‘hell holes’ for those forced to endure the constant harassment.

“The current legislation simply isn’t fit for purpose, and lets those engaging in antisocial behaviour off with a slap on the wrist in most circumstances.

“Fianna Fail will bring forward a suite of legislative and policy proposals over the coming period to strengthen the ability of An Garda Síochána to actively deal with this behaviour.

“People destroying the fabric of communities, degrading the environment and fundamentally harassing citizens in their own homes must be dealt with in the strongest possible terms.

“The State’s fundamental role is to protect citizens and enable them to live their lives in peace. Antisocial behaviour is a blight on our communities, and Fianna Fáil will give fighting it the time and resources it deserves,” concluded O’Callaghan.