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Written Answers - Anti-Social Behaviour

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 396.  Deputy Ciara Conway Information on Ciara Conway Zoom on Ciara Conway  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will provide an update on the current legislative position regarding tackling anti social behaviour; the remedies that might be available to persons suffering as a result of this behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24339/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that current policing strategies are predicated on preventing crime, public order offences and anti-social behaviour and are designed to promote an environment conducive to the improvement of the quality of life for residents in the community. I am further informed that policing measures are in place to address any difficulties experienced by members of the community with respect to incidents of public disorder and other anti-social behaviour. This includes areas being designated as hotspots for such criminality, additional high-visibility patrols being directed by local Garda management, including regular patrols by uniform and plain-clothes units, including the Community Policing and Garda Mountain-Bike Units, local Detective and Drug Unit personnel, supplemented as required by Divisional Crime Task Force and Traffic Corps personnel.

Strong legislative provisions are in place to combat anti-social behaviour. Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 provides for civil proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour by adults and Part 13 of the Act relates to anti-social behaviour by children. These provisions set out an incremental procedure for addressing anti-social behaviour. With regard to children, these range from a warning from a member of An Garda Síochána, to a good behaviour contract involving the child and his or her parents or guardian, to referral to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme and finally to the making of a behaviour order by the Children Court. With regard to adults, they include a warning and the making of a civil order by the court.

A range of other legislative provisions are also available to An Garda Síochána in order to address anti-social behaviour and public order incidents, and to bring criminal proceedings where appropriate. These include measures under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Acts and the Intoxicating Liquor Acts. In particular, the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 gave further powers to the Gardaí to tackle misuse of alcohol, including the power to seize alcohol in the possession of an under 18 year old which they suspect is for consumption in a public place. They can also seize alcohol to forestall public disorder or damage to property. Gardaí may also issue fixed charge notices for the offences of intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct in a public place.

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