Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
I am very conscious of how the impact of anti-social behaviour affects the quality of life for local communities. Preventing children getting involved in criminality, as well as diverting children away from it when they have already become involved, is a key priority for the Department of Justice and for the Government. The Department's Justice Plan 20201 contains a number of commitments with regard to tackling anti-social behaviour.
In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, I have established a special expert forum on antisocial behaviour, which is considering the effectiveness of existing legislation and looking at proposing new ways forward, including new powers for An Garda Síochána and additional interventions to support parenting of offenders. A subgroup of this Forum has already examined the issue of misuse of scramblers and quadbikes and this work has informed the development of a new scheme aimed at tackling this issue in local areas.
I also launched a new Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 on 15 April. Youth crime, including anti-social behaviour, can have a major impact on our communities and poses significant challenges for An Garda Síochána, as well as other Justice agencies. The factors which underlie youth crime have significant implications across a range of policy and service provisions, including Child and Family Services, Health, Education and local authority functions.
This new Strategy will respond collaboratively to the situation of vulnerable children and young
people, with a strong focus on diverting them away from offending, prevention
and early intervention, including early intervention and preventative work, family support and diversion from crime, through to court processes and facilities, supervision of offenders, detention and reintegration and support post release.