Dublin’s north inner city is to be patrolled by ‘community wardens’ dedicated to tackling anti-social behaviour and improving communities.
The new wardens will be paid for with money seized from criminals and will have an observe and report role when it comes to anti-social behaviour.
They will also be tasked with finding ways to improve community services - reporting on issues like waste management, lighting and road maintenance.
A pilot project will see the wardens initially rolled out in the Wolfe Tone Square, Capel Street and Jervis Street areas.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Independent Chair of the North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership Cormac Ó Donnchú said the wardens are not being rolled out in place of Gardaí.
“We are going to employ some community safety wardens whose role will be to work in specific geographic areas and to work in an observe and report role,” he said
“It is really important to stress this is a non-enforcement role. In lots of ways, we would be familiar, I suppose here in our own areas, with the concept of maybe park wardens, so in some ways, our community safety wardens will supply a high visibility presence on the street.
“They will be working to build relationships with all the stakeholders in the area. Primarily the businesses and local community residents.”
"Observe and report"
He said the wardens would have an observe and report role on everything – and would encourage pro-social behaviours as well as report on crime.
The wardens are about to be appointed and a uniform is currently being designed.
They will be employed through Dublin Town and paid for with the Community Safety and innovation fund – which is taken from the proceeds of crime.
The North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership is one of three pilot projects set up in preparation for the new Community Policing and Safety bill which is currently passing through the Oireachtas.
The bill is based on the recommendations of the Commission of the Future of Policing in Ireland – which concluded that policing and community safety are not solely the responsibility of An Garda Síochána.
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Main image shows Community Wardens on patrol in Windsor, UK. Image: Maureen McLean/Alamy