Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Justice and Equality

An Garda Síochána

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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348. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she has received a report from An Garda Síochána on the Garda initiative to improve security in Dublin city centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17121/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Government is determined to tackle anti-social behaviour and other forms of criminal behaviour, such as assault, and I am very conscious of the impact these behaviours can have on the quality of life for local communities, including in Dublin city centre.

We want people to feel safe and be safe, whether they live or work in Dublin city centre, or want to visit and enjoy our capital city. The Deputy will be aware that Budget 2022 includes significant additional funding to support initiatives under the Youth Justice Strategy and the new Community Safety Innovation Fund, €6.7 million and €2 million respectively, which will support community-based initiatives to ensure public safety.

In addition, North Inner City Dublin is one of three pilot locations where Local Community Safety Partnerships have been established. The lessons which are learnt in the North Inner City pilot will be of particular relevance to the future rollout nationwide, including in the South Inner City.

Both the Programme for Government, as well as the Justice Plan 2022 which was published this week, contain a number of commitments to tackle crime and improve community safety, including the ongoing prioritisation of the work of the Expert Forum on Anti-Social Behaviour, charged with considering the effectiveness of existing legislation and looking at proposals for new ways forward.

Gardaí continue to implement high visibility policing plans to address public disorder-related issues and anti-social behaviour, with particular overt and targeted policing of public places at times when public order incidents and anti-social behaviour typically increase, such as bank holiday weekends.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Citizen commenced in Dublin city centre on 22 October 2021. This operation places a particular focus on anti-social behaviour, public order and quality of life issues, assaults and high-volume crimes, and involves increased visible policing, particularly at key locations. In addition to Garda resources from the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Central and South Central divisions, Operation Citizen is supported by resources from the wider Dublin Region, Garda Roads Policing Units, the Garda National Public Order Unit and Garda Operational Support Units (Mounted Unit and Dog Unit).

I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are in excess of 100 Gardaí patrolling Dublin city centre each weekend evening. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 4pm, up to 30 additional Gardaí are deployed specifically on foot patrols in the city centre, resourced from outside the two core city centre divisions. Every Friday and Saturday evening, a Garda National Public Order Unit of 25 personnel (on mobile patrols) patrols the city centre. In excess of 500 additional hours of policing are provided each week.

In January this year, the Garda authorities launched Operation Saul to further support, enhance and strengthen the strategic and operational objectives of Operation Citizen. The aim of Operation Saul is to provide a safe environment for commuters utilising public transport services in the DMR.

The Deputy may be interested to note that Garda Operation Soteria is also in place to ensure a reduction of assaults in public, reduce fear of violence within communities, prioritise assault investigations and focus on problem areas and assault hotspots.

A summary of Garda proactive outputs recorded against any of the reported crime incidents associated with Garda operations Citizen, Saul and Soteria is contained in the following table:

Operation Prisoner logs Charges Summons Youth referrals Adult cautions
Citizen 887 1322 72 74 47
Soteria 655 865 125 129 22
Saul 18 28 Less than 10 Less than 10 Less than 10

Operation Citizen activity reported between 22 October 2021 and 28 March 2022.

Operation Soteria activity reported between 1 January 2021 and 28 March 2022.

Operation Saul activity reported between 31 January 2022 and 28 March 2022.

It is noted that the Garda information provided is taken from PULSE as of 29 March 2022, is operational and is liable to change.

This combination of targeted Garda operations and Government funding and policy measures are having, and will continue to have, a positive impact on personal safety in Dublin city centre.


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