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Written Answers. - Crime Prevention.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 220. Mr. Gregory Information on Tony Gregory Zoom on Tony Gregory  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue  the steps the Garda have taken to curb the activities of gangs congregating in residential areas intimidating citizens and vandalising their properties; if he will seek a full report from the Garda authorities in the Bridewell station, Dublin 7 detailing their response to the ongoing vandalism and intimidation of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7; if this matter will receive further attention to ensure that it does not continue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10595/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue I am informed by the Garda authorities that local Garda management adopt a pro-active approach to activities such as gangs of youths congregating in residential areas, or engaging in anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Mobile foot patrols and public order units are directed to pay attention to areas where such activities prevail. Community policing units, in conjunction with Neighbourhood Watch schemes, [878] continue to work together to identify culprits and persistent offenders who are dealt with under current public order legislation. The recently launched Operation Encounter is proving very effective in curbing such activities.

Since 1 January to date a total of six incidents have been logged at the Bridewell Garda station regarding stone throwing and acts of criminal damage in the general area of Sitric Road and surrounding streets. During the same period a total of three persons have been arrested for breaches of public order and committing criminal damage in this area.

The complainant mentioned in the question has corresponded with the Bridewell gardaí by letter dated 15 March. He outlined problems relating to damage being done to his property.

I am aware that the neighbourhood policing garda assigned to this area has, in addition to attending residents' meetings in the locality, called on the person in question on a number of occasions to discuss these matters. Furthermore, this area is patrolled regularly by the Garda who have interviewed and taken the names of a number of youths found congregating in the locality.

Road contractors rubble located at the roadworks on Oxmanstown Road has contributed to the ongoing problems and been used as ammunition by youths in the area to break windows and commit criminal damage. Garda are endeavouring to have Dublin Corporation clear up the rubble and are liaising with the site foreman in this regard.

The Garda attempted to establish a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the area but did not get a good response from residents last December and the matter was deferred. New efforts in this respect will be made by the Garda in the coming weeks.

As part of the recently launched Operation Encounter, the patrol for the Manor Street area has been extended to specifically cover Sitric Road and the surrounding streets in this operation. I am assured that the gardaí at the Bridewell will continue to pay attention to this area in order to assist in resolving the current problems being experienced at this location.

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