Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Questions (116, 117)

Finian McGrath

Question:

116. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9953/16]

View answer

Finian McGrath

Question:

117. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality to support a matter (details supplied) regarding anti-social behaviour; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9954/16]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 and 117 together.

I appreciate the concerns which can arise in relation to the impact of various types of anti-social behaviour on householders and local communities. However, I trust the Deputy will appreciate that the investigation of possible criminal offences in any particular case is a matter for An Garda Síochána, and I do not have a direct role in this regard. I would of course encourage anyone who is subject to any form of harassment or anti-social behaviour to provide all relevant information to their local Gardaí. To be of assistance I have brought the Deputy's concerns, and a copy of the correspondence in question, to the attention of the Garda authorities and asked that these matters be given appropriate consideration and attention.

Addressing local community concerns in relation to public order and anti-social behaviour is a key focus in An Garda Síochána's National Model of Community Policing. In this regard there are strong legislative provisions available to an An Garda Síochána, including provisions under the Criminal Damage Act 1991, Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2003, and the Intoxicating Liquor Acts 2003 and 2008.

As part of An Garda Síochána's commitment to a Community Policing approach Gardaí engage with a wide range of local groups, including residents groups and Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert groups, as well as participating in more formal structures such as Joint Policing Committees. These provide additional mechanisms for people to relay their concerns to Gardaí and also assist An Garda Síochána in disseminating crime prevention advice to local communities.

The Deputy will also be aware that under the new Programme for Government we are pressing forward with an accelerated programme of Garda recruitment with a view to achieving a Force of 15,000 members. This is a central element of the Government's anti-crime strategy and it builds on the recruitment of 1,150 new Gardaí since we reopened the Garda College in Templemore in September 2014. The ongoing recruitment process will support all Garda activities and will undoubtedly enhance the provision of effective Community Policing in local communities throughout the country.