Gardai must be visible in communities to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised in our communities particularly with the Halloween weekend approaching, according to a Southside Fine Gael TD.
Dublin Rathdown Deputy Neale Richmond said: “With Halloween fast approaching, it is vital that there is a high presence of Gardai in communities, public spaces and close to public transport hubs to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised; allowing all those who want to partake in Halloween activities can do so safely.
“With all ages partaking in Halloween festivities, from children to teenagers and students, there is an onus on Government and the Gardai to come together to ensure everyone is kept safe.
“Operation Tombola, which sees Gardai seize illegal fireworks in advance of Halloween, is hugely welcome but given that we are entering into a further lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, we can reasonably expect more activity on our streets this Halloween and on the beat policing must be increased accordingly.
“Put simply, high visibility policing works. Having more Gardai on our streets makes people feel safer and deters people from committing crimes or engaging in anti-social behaviour.
“With over 14,000 Garda members and 3,300 Garda staff throughout the country and with a budget of €1.952 billion for 2021, An Garda Síochána are fully equipped to make high visibility policing a priority for the foreseeable future.
“Budget 2022 allowed for the recruitment of more civilian staff as well as Gardai, this is the way forward. We need our Gardai out in our communities and on the beat.
“Beyond Halloween, there is also a balance to be found in ensuring that there is a level of trust between communities and the Gardai in order for high visibility policing to continue to be successful.
“This is where the €2 million Community Safety Innovation Fund will help bring communities and Gardai together to ensure that all perspectives are heard, and trust is established and maintained in our local areas.
“Halloween is always a difficult time of year when it comes to anti-social behaviour but following a year of high-profile incidents, it is vital that high visibility policing is prioritised and we get Gardai on the streets,” Deputy Richmond concluded.