Tuesday, 5 July 2022
Department of Justice and Equality
The impact of anti-social behaviour is well recognised and is highlighted in the ongoing work of the Expert Forum on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) which Minister Browne is pleased to chair. The Forum is examining a broad range of issues, including knife crime, with a focus on developing measures which will address the factors which give rise to ASB and its impact on community morale and quality of life.
Members of the Forum are drawn from a number of State agencies, including An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service and key Government Departments, as well as a broad representation of community, business, academic and other experts.
Minister Browne has convened two subgroups established to consider the specific issues of knife crime and the misuse of scramblers and quadbikes. Other subgroups may be established to tackle additional specific issues as required.
The knife crime sub-group has examined existing data and possible approaches to community responses as well as the legislative position. Minister Browne has been briefed on the work of the sub-group and is considering what further measures might be progressed.My Department remains in contact with An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service in this regard.
It is important to note, based on international evidence, that there are no quick-fix solutions to tackling knife crime and it is clear that longer term, evidence-based strategies are needed. Knife crime cannot be addressed in isolation but as part of the strategic responses to address anti-social behaviour, street violence, youth offending and domestic violence.
My Department's overriding concern is that we pursue the actions which have the best chance of being effective and making a real difference. Therefore, we have to balance the strong impulse to react based on our shared outrage at violent crimes with a careful consideration of the best available evidence on what is most likely to yield real improvements.