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O’Brien calls for action after Cork stabbings

8 May, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Speaking in the aftermath of two deaths from knife wounds in Cork over the weekend, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson and TD for Cork North Central, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the Minister for Justice to rethink his strategy of cutting Garda numbers and closing stations in light of this type of crime and the high number of assaults.

The Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson said;

“The fact that two people have died over the weekend in separate knife incidents is extremely worrying. Meanwhile, the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner are quite happy to reduce the opening hours of Garda stations and close others. It simply isn’t acceptable.

“Clearly the current approach to crime fighting and prevention needs to be debated, reviewed and revised in light of escalating violence and drug crime. The CSO figures for last week showed a rise in drug related offences. Such violent crime is a symptom of a violent society we now find ourselves living in. The Minister for Justice must be cognisant of the risk to the community when approaching issues of policing. People have a right to be safe.

“Extra Garda resources need to be deployed to Cork with a proactive approach to tackling knife crime. We need to tackle the culture that sees young people feel that it is necessary and acceptable to carry knives on them as they go about their daily lives.

“I would propose a knife crime awareness and education campaign which would include a type of knife amnesty for the Cork area that has been successful in other areas before, where young people are encouraged to give up their weapons to Gardaí without fear of being charged for carrying the weapon. The PSNI did this in the north in 2006 and 900 knives were handed in, resulting in a 30% drop in knife crime.

“If we can take the bulk of these weapons off the streets then we will be going some way to solving this type of problem. A community awareness campaign might go some of the way to convince and educate some of these young people on the real dangers of carrying knives.”

ENDS

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