Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (524)

Eoghan Murphy


535 Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the increase in public order offences, public drinking, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour in the Temple Bar area, Dublin, a significant cultural and tourist centre; and the actions being taken to address this growing problem. [34728/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that policing measures are in place to address the difficulties referred to by the Deputy. These include the designation of certain areas as hotspots for such criminality and additional high visibility patrols being directed by local Garda management. Incidents of public disorder and other anti-social behaviour are dealt with by way of juvenile or adult caution, fixed charge penalty notice or by initiating criminal proceedings.

In particular, a high visibility policing initiative has recently been reintroduced by Assistant Commissioner Dublin Metropolitan Region, including within the Dublin city catchment area. Dedicated high visibility patrols are conducted in key thoroughfares at strategic times, as dictated by crime trends and foot fall for these areas. These measures will be subject to close monitoring by local Garda management and will be continually reviewed to ensure they target prevailing trends.

In addition, I am also informed that there are a number of specific initiatives in place in the Temple Bar area. These include Operation Pier involving the deployment of plain-clothes Garda personnel as well as high visibility uniform personnel from the local Community Policing Unit, supplemented by additional patrols conducted by District and Division uniform personnel. The initiative has had a significant impact in combating and reducing incidents of public order and anti-social behaviour in the area.

The Garda authorities use a collaborative approach in addressing anti-social behaviour issues in the area including ongoing liaison with local business associations and other stakeholders.

The Gardaí also make effective use of CCTV in the city centre, with 44 CCTV cameras, monitored by Garda personnel from the Garda Camera Office on O'Connell Street, and a further 33 CCTV cameras monitored from Pearse Street Garda Station on a 24 hour basis. CCTV systems have proved to be of significant assistance to the Garda Authorities in the prevention and detection of incidents of crime since their introduction.

Local Garda management closely monitors the allocation of all resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public.

I am further informed that the situation is being kept under ongoing review and I can assure the Deputy that I am in regular contact with the Garda Commissioner with a view to ensuring that our streets are safe for all.