Justice Minister Helen McEntee’s street crime plan for Dublin’s north inner city doesn't understand the needs of the area, according to Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon.
The new Local Community Safety Plan contains 51 recommendations and local groups hope it will make a difference to crime reduction in the area.
The plans suggest audits of streets in the capital to improve lighting and cleanliness.
Gardaí will also be placed at hot spot areas for anti-social behaviour and drug taking and drug outreach programmes will be extended.
Groups will be set up and tasked with tackling illegal dumping.
Social Democrat Spokesperson for Social Protection and Defence Gary Gannon told On the Record with Gavan Reilly the plan doesn’t engage with certain important organisations in the north inner city.
“That plan the other day, it’s 52 pages, 51 proposals, and absolutely no engagement with local sports clubs, for example,” he said.
“No engagement with the people who work with very difficult, hard-to-reach young people.
“No engagement in terms of reestablishing relationships with the young people who are at risk of being in trouble in the inner city.”
Community Safety Wardens
The plan also proposes the introduction of ‘community safety wardens’ patrolling areas like O’Connell Street and Wolfe Tone Square, which Deputy Gannon was critical of.
“I talked to Dublin Towns about this, [community safety wardens] were seen as people who could help engage in the flow of city,” he said.
“They’ve been scapegoated a bit to give the illusion of action... Dublin Towns have good intentions for the community safety wardens.
“But when that €10 million put in place overtime for guards runs out at the end of the year, and these community safety wardens try to intervene, is a guard going to show up?
“There’s just six of them, €150,000 is being placed in terms of funding [which] is not a huge amount of money for six workers who are not trained to intervene in the more violent parts of the city.”
Deputy Gannon said Dublin city centre and the north inner city are like two separate areas that exist in the exact same space.
“To see the two of them as the same is a fundamental flaw of these proposals,” he said.
“If you take the IFSC, you can walk along there and the road over is Charlotte Street, but you will see people in suits, engaging in commerce and the streets don’t mix.
“When plans like this come out where they talk about increasing safety in the city... I think that’s different from developing the north inner city.”
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