Thursday, 10 December 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
37. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the scoping report by a person (details supplied) on the criminality in Drogheda, County Louth; if she will act on its recommendations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41485/20]
As the Deputy is aware, the community in Drogheda has faced significant challenges in recent times as a result of the actions of organised crime groups, which have severely affected their feelings of safety. I know that An Garda Síochána has been and will continue to be intensively engaged in bringing those responsible to justice.
The reason that I engaged Vivian Geiran to oversee a scoping exercise in the Drogheda area is that policing and preventing harm is not the responsibility of the Gardaí alone, and involves other agencies of Government and sectors of society. This principle is at the centre of a new policy on community safety which is being developed in my Department.
I asked Mr Geiran to engage with relevant residents, services, organisations, businesses and other stakeholders in the community in order to identify opportunities to connect and support existing services in the area. I would like to commend the excellent cooperation from the community in Drogheda and all the groups that Mr Geiran has sought to engage with, including the elected representatives. I have been very impressed with the services in the community and the way they have made themselves available. People have also proactively approached me offering their time to help with this exercise.
Mr Geiran is in the process of finalising his recommendations in relation to short and long-term responses to the challenges faced by communities in this area. I receive regular updates on how the work of Mr Geiran is progressing and I am aware of the preliminary recommendations and areas of focus that are emerging. Inter-agency cooperation and coordination is going to be central to improving the experience and safety of residents in Drogheda. When it comes to crime prevention, wraparound supports can be effective in breaking the cycle of crime and the impact of that crime on the community. There will also need to be a strong focus on ensuring that activities promoting wellbeing, safety and leadership for children and young people in Drogheda are supported. These are preliminary observations and Mr Geiran’s full report will be completed this month.
My Department will carefully consider the actions and recommendations in Mr Geiran’s report and engage with relevant services and stakeholders in Drogheda in order to take them forward.