A new garda unit dedicated to tackling drug dealing, gang crime and anti-social behaviour could be rolled out in Dublin city centre.
Under new Fianna Fáil proposals the unit would focus specifically on public order crimes on the capital’s main commercial streets and would have its own dedicated support team and management structure within An Garda Síochána.
The plan is being put forward by Brian Mohan, a candidate for next month’s local elections in the north inner city.
He said: “I think it is high time the people living in this city felt safer walking the streets and that gangs and drug dealers are taken off our street corners. This new garda unit would maintain a visible presence on the city’s main streets 24/7. We need to take back the city streets from the criminal elements that seem to act against people and property as if there is no punishment. We only need to look at recent violent incidents in town to know that action is needed.”
Mohan and says crime and public safety is a major concern with voters in the local elections, “I have been meeting a lot of people in the north inner city over the last few weeks and some of the issues coming up regularly are anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and vandalism.”
Mohan said: “What I’m really looking at tackling here is what might be termed low-level offences like vandalism, shoplifting, theft and drug use. We need to restore a sense of community in the inner city and we need to protect it. A new public order unit dedicated to the city would go a long way to tackling the local crime and safety concerns that I am hearing on the ground.”
Mohan says the crime stats in the city prove there is a need for action, he said: “There were over 10,000 recorded thefts in the last three months of 2013, over 3,000 burglaries and over 2,700 criminal damage offences in the Garda Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR). Some of these crime rates have stabilised but there were over 1,100 more thefts recorded in the last three months of 2013 than in the same period three years earlier. Fine Gael and Labour were running Dublin City Council long before they were running the country and there has been no real effort to put a political and policing solution in place to these problems. That has to change.”