The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Daithí de Róiste, has said there is a “real issue” in terms of what is happening on the streets of Dublin which requires all agencies, including the gardaí, to do a lot more.
“I believe Dublin is a safe city in the main and we’re always going to have instances. But there is a perception of Dublin that it’s unsafe at the moment, that we do have a lot of antisocial behaviour on the streets,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
“We see these instances in recent weeks about what’s happening and I’m saying it’s simply not good enough and we need an urgent response to address this.”
Mr de Róiste pointed out that the Dublin North Central Division had one of the highest crime rates in the country. It now has 615 gardaí which was 24 fewer than the start of the year.
There has been renewed focus on Dublin street crime after a 57-year-old American tourist was attacked soon after leaving his accommodation on Talbot Street on the city’s northside last week.
More gardaí were needed to make Dublin a much safer place, both for visitors and for “ordinary Dubliners”, he said. Higher visibility by gardaí would go some way towards addressing the problem.
“When you look at the problem that we have at the moment in terms of young gangs terrorising people and that sense of lawlessness among 14, 15, 16 year olds, yeah, high visibility policing [would help] because these gangs are able to operate without the fear that they’re going to be just stumbled upon by a member of an Garda Siochana,” he said.
Changes to the rules for recruiting gardaí needed to be looked at, to make it a more enticing career. “Anything that allows more gardaí on to the streets, whether that’s people over the age of 35, whether it’s increasing the package that’s available to members, it’s all welcome because it’s absolutely needed.”
“We need to be doing more as a city to make it a safer place for people to live and to work.
“I think there’s a lot more we can do, as I said, from that multi agency approach from the north inner city. We can pull that together. But I do think this is a problem that rests with the Minister for Justice.
“If you walk around the city late at night on your own, there is that kind of feeling that it’s not a good place to be and we need to address that urgently.”