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People feel less safe in community according to Sinn Féin survey - O'Toole

27 August, 2007

Many people feel less safe in their local area and there is a huge demand for increased Garda patrols in local neighbourhoods according to a survey carried out by Sinn Féin across Dublin City on the issue of anti-social behaviour.  The findings of the survey were used to partly inform Sinn Féin’s submission to the Garda Policing Plan 2008 which was launched in Dublin today.

Speaking at the launch today, Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O’Toole, who is also Deputy Chair of Dublin City Council’s Joint Policing Committee, said:

“Earlier this year Dublin Sinn Féin carried out a survey at 21 locations across Dublin on people’s attitudes and experience of anti-social behaviour. Of the 852 residents who responded, 54% feel less safe in their home and community, with less than a quarter feeling safer than a year ago.

“An overwhelming number of respondents (95.2%) believe that fully-trained Gardai are preferable to Reserve members and that more Gardai are needed on the beat. Drugs, drug-dealing, public drunkeness and rowdiness, threats and intimidation are the major elements of the anti-social behaviour which people complained about. 

“The locations most identified wth anti-social activity are pubic parks, laneways,  stairwells, halls and balconies, shopping centres, street corners, pubs, chippers and open or green spaces.  A huge amount of respondents (82.5%) said that more facilities are needed to divert our young people away from anti-social behaviour.

“The Policing Plan 2008 should prioritise addressing these identified behaviours and one of Sinn Féin’s key proposals in our submission to the plan is to see more Gardaí on foot and on bicycles patrolling these anti-social behaviour hotspots with greater frequency and particularly during the identified hours when this problematic and criminal behaviour occurs.

“A smaller sample of 100 respondents from across Dublin were asked to complete a more detailed questionnaire.  From this it was found that:

“52% of respondents were personally affected by anti-social behaviour in the last 12 months and of these just a little over 60% reported it to the Gardaí.  The reasons for not reporting centred on an expectation of a poor response from Gardaí and a perceived lack of Garda resources. Of those who reported their experience to An Garda Síochana the level of satisfaction varied with many respondents complaining of no clear response or follow-up; lengthy delays; a lack of interest on the part of Gardaí; and failure to even show up when called. 

“The Policing Plan 2008 should contain strong actions with performance indicators aimed at reversing these public perceptions both through quicker routine response times and the communication to residents of follow-up actions undertaken.” ENDS

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