Written Answers. - Garda Foot Patrols.

Tony Gregory

Question:

35 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice her views on the failure or inability of the Gardaí to have foot patrols at locations (details supplied) in Dublin North Inner City where motorists are under regular attack from small groups of youths. [31/94]

I want to reject the suggestion that the Garda is unable, or has failed, to have foot patrols carried out at the locations mentioned. Foot patrols are carried out in these areas on an on-going basis.

The areas referred to by the Deputy are policed from Store Street and Fitzgibbon Street Garda stations. The Garda are aware of the problem of larcenies from vehicles in the areas referred to and have taken a number of measures to combat this problem, including the establishment of a special surveillance unit involving members in plain clothes. The operation of this unit is, of course, in addition to the regular surveillance carried out by the District Detective Units.

The Garda authorities inform me that a uniform garda presence is maintained in these areas throughout the day and into the early hours of the morning. Since June of this year, special foot patrols have been introduced involving four uniformed gardaí from Store Street who are engaged full time on foot patrols in these areas. These gardaí work in close co-operation with the Divisional Drugs Unit and the Garda authorities report that this initiative has significantly reduced the level of crime, disorder and loitering in this general area.

A Special Task Force Unit based at Fitzgibbon Street was established last month and this unit also pays particular attention to the areas in question.

The Garda authorities are satisfied that the current policing arrangements, including the level of foot patrols, for the areas in question are adequate and are satisfied that the new initiatives being taken by them to combat crime are proving successful. These arrangements will be kept under continuing review and any changes considered necessary will be made.