I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to all those impacted by the shocking incidents which have taken place in Dublin in recent weeks. My Department is keeping the law in relation to sentencing for knife crimes, as well as all other policies around knife crimes, such as targeted interventions, under review.
Following a number of initial discussions on our shared concern about recent these serious crime incidents, I met with the Garda Commissioner last week to further discuss the issue.
The Commissioner confirmed that An Garda Síochána has a comprehensive policing plan in place in Dublin’s north inner city.
The Commissioner and I also discussed what more can be done to tackle knife crime.
We both agree that strong community engagement, increased community safety and youth services are a key element in preventing and reducing crime. We also discussed outreach and information programmes, run in a number of different languages, for all communities, as well as youth justice and other interventions.
Further analysis is needed to provide greater insights into the level of violent incidents in society and I will remain in ongoing contact on the issue with Commissioner Harris.
Also, as the Deputy will be aware, on 13 November I announced that my Department will pilot Local Community Safety Partnerships in three areas, including Dublin’s North Inner City. Local Community Safety Partnerships are the new structures proposed in my Department’s new Community Safety Policy to take a holistic approach to safety issues in partnership with the community.
They will operate at local authority administrative level and will be made up of local representatives, a range of local services, community representatives and residents. Local Community Safety Partnerships will take a strategic approach to their work so that issues arising can be dealt with in a coordinated manner, addressed collectively by relevant service providers in partnership with the community.
Each Local Community Safety Partnership will be actively supported by a dedicated resource within the local authority whose role is to support the Partnership, engage the residents in the community on safety issues and link them in with the work of the Partnership. Officials in my Department are working closely with Dublin City Council and the Department of An Taoiseach, as well as the recently appointed chair of the Dublin North Inner City pilot, Cormac Ó Donnchú, to put the relevant structures in place to allow the Partnership to commence in the coming weeks.