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Findings on anti-social behaviour an indictment of Government policy — Ó Snodaigh

27 April, 2007

The findings of a Sinn Féin survey, released today, are an indictment of the Government's handling of the issue of community safety according to the party's Justice spokeperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh said, "According to our survey on the issue of anti-social behaviour, carried out at 21 locations across Dublin City and involving just under 1,000 respondents, the problems of intimidation, drunkenness and open drug dealing are plaguing many local neighbourhoods and people are not satisified with Government responses.

"The survey findings are an indictment of the Government's handling of community safety. The policies of the present Government have failed to produce a coherent and robust approach to prevent and deal with anti-social cime.

"What is now clearly and urgently required is the development and proper funding of a comprehensive Crime Prevention Strategy which will prioritise community safety and effective policing.

"As identified in the survey, there is a need for increased and accelerated social investment in communities, particularly in marginalised areas worst hit by the problem of anti-social behaviour.

"Monies confiscated from criminals and drug barons should be ringfenced for economic and social development in those communities most affected by such crime. Sinn Féin has proposed a Community Development Fund, additional to any Government funding commitments, into which such monies should be channelled.

"We have also proposed Community Policing Partnerships at District level across the state, similar to those outlined in the Patten recommendations on policing in the North, which can lead to policing which is fully accountable to the local communities it is meant to serve.

"Appropriate tasks, including many adminstrative duties and the traffic corps, should be civilianised, to allow for the redeployment of all fully trained Gardai to fight crime and serve and protect the community.

"Early intervention and support services for those young people at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour are important requirements, not currently being provided. Effective rehabilitation programmes and post-release suprevision and community restorative justice alternatives for the worst and most violent offenders would also make an impact.

"Crucially we need to ensure robust enforcement of the law and prosecution of offenders involved in criminal, anti-social behaviour which is currently the scourge of so many communities, not just in Dublin but across Ireland." ENDS

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