Helen McEntee’s decision to hire community wardens to tackle crime in inner city Dublin is “absolutely ridiculous”, a former Mayor of Limerick has said.
In the wake of a number of high profile crimes in the area, the Government has put together a Local Community Safety Plan for the area.
Among the proposals are new community wardens that the Minister for Justice said would not carry out the work of An Garda Síochána.
“The community safety wardens engage with people in the area,” she said.
“They engage with people who might be hanging around; they engage with business members to identify what is going on; they engage with younger people.”
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder - who were broadcasting live from Limerick - former Mayor John Gilligan said it would not reduce crime.
“[I have] no idea what they’re planning,” he said.
“Someone wants to try to reinvent the wheel again; if you don’t want to do anything positive, you come up with something absolutely ridiculous and hope you get away with it.”
Mr Gilligan said not so long ago policing in Ireland had been handled “very badly” but in locals and the Gardaí had worked to change that in Limerick.
He said in many communities, people had only ever met a Garda when they were in trouble and the force set out to change that through more active engagement.
“You have to bring Gardaí in [to the community] and you have to try and keep them there,” he said.
“That there wasn’t simply one community Guard one week and then two others the following week - and some of them were very, very effective.
“It meant that the Gardaí were not the enemy; that was very, very big and very important and it worked.”
Mr Gilligan said the transformative took years - but paid off in the end.
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Main image: The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews