I am informed by the Garda authorities that while provisional figures for 1992 indicate that there was an increase in crime in the Galway city area, figures for the Salthill area in that year indicate that there was a decrease in crime there. Indications for 1993 to date, are that there has been a decrease in crime levels in both locations.
The Garda authorities confirm that certain problems arise in the Galway and Salthill areas during the summer months arising from the large influx of visitors to these areas. Most of the problems arise from the behaviour of large numbers of youths congregating in certain locations. This is a symptom of a more general problem experienced in various urban areas throughout the country. I have taken certain initiatives to deal with this problem, including the preparation of a Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill which is being given priority in my Department. It will give appropriate powers to the Garda and the courts to deal with street crime and disorderly and threatening behaviour.
As far as Galway-Salthill is concerned, the Garda authorities are aware of the particular problems being experienced there and a number of measures have been and are taken to deal with the sitution. These include the closer co-ordination and use of foot and mobile patrols and checkpoints and the deployment of Garda resources to meet the special requirements of particular areas.