Last week, I highlighted the continuing problem of anti-social behaviour and groups of young gangs intimidating and harassing Dubliners from the Samuel Beckett Bridge over to George’s Dock and the CHQ Building.
In bringing greater awareness to the situation, I also spoke with the Gardai about the situation and what steps officers in Store Street and neighbouring Divisions are taking to rectify the matter and provide reassurance to local residents, those working in the area and Dubliners generally. Officers have now advised me that the policing approach to date has consisted of high visibility patrols combined with patrols by plain clothes Gardaí. An emphasis is placed on the CHQ building and on Sean O’Casey Bridge where the majority of the incidents occur. The increased policing presence has led to significant detections of Public Order offences and subsequently, a significant number of youths are being dealt with by way of the Garda Youth Diversion Program.
I have been reassured that Gardaí are in frequent contact with local security personnel and meet with stakeholders once a month through the North Wall Business Watch scheme. On the 22nd of November 2022, positive feedback was received during the most recent Business Watch meeting, with all stakeholders including security firms Apleona and G4S, indicating that there has been a significant decrease in the occurrences of anti-social behaviour in the area.
Sector 2/3 Community Gardaí have also been involved in an initiative known as the Bridge Project. Through this project, there have been a number of restorative practise meetings held with local schools and representatives from the Garda Youth Diversion program. Dublin City Council has also recently become involved with the Bridge Project.
Finally, Garda officers have confirmed to me that the frequent offenders involved with this behaviour, have been identified and will be dealt with through the Youth Diversion Program. A decision will be made as to whether to admit them to the youth Diversion Program or for the matters to be dealt with through the judiciary.
Please be assured that I will continue to work with the Gardai on this issue and on the ongoing need to reassure Dubliners with a visible and high profile policing presence across our city centre and adjoining residential neighbourhoods, like the North Wall, Sean McDermott Street and the Markets, for example. Separately, I’ll provide some information in the coming days about the Bridge Project and the work that is ongoing.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee