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Government’s new North Inner City Plan shows no evidence for resourcing

08 September 2023

  • North Inner City’s Community Safety Partnership Plan highlights many of the conditions needed for safer communities 
  • No reference to Government resourcing calls implementation into question

Senator Marie Sherlock, Labour representative in Dublin Central, said “The 52 page report rightly highlights many of the improvements needed to make the Inner City feel safer for its residents and visitors. However, there are serious questions about whether the actions will ever address the underlying causes and persistence of anti- social behaviour and criminality.

“The commitment of those involved in the partnership is to be commended. However, there is a concern about the overreliance on community safety wardens, where no additional Gardaí have been committed.

“With regard to early intervention, we unfortunately see no reference to beefing up the Garda youth diversion programmes. We believe there needs to be an expansion of the Juvenile Liaison Officer team beyond the three JLO officers and Sergeant currently in place in the North Central Metropolitan area. 

“We also see no references today to dealing with knife crime in the area and while the number of knife related incidents may have fallen, we know that the knife culture remains. Two years ago after the killing of Josh Dunne, we called for the introduction of a knife amnesty or a “surrender and compensation scheme” similar to that in a number of cities in Scotland.

“Crucially investing in early years care and education, investing in youth projects and ensuring a health led approach to addiction are all critical to ensuring safer, healthier communities. The plan touches on these with specific commitments but without clear funding to expand creche places, afterschool and youth places, it is not clear if the plan will ever be implemented.

“It’s important to add that there was a notable absence of any reference to the availability of decently paid secure employment in the inner city. While a large section of the report was spent highlighting the importance of the North Inner city as a trading centre, it’s vital to recognise that good local employment opportunity is key to ensuring a path out of joblessness and inter-generational deprivation. With the Clery’s building soon to re-open we have been highlighting the commitments made to local employment in the wake of the building’s closure in 2015.”

Labour Councillor Deborah Byrne in the North Inner City said “We cannot police our way out of every problem. We need long term investment in the North Inner City, building on the good work already being done by community groups, in partnership with the local community; support for parents, early learning initiatives for children, diversion and education welfare programmes for young people, a health-led approach to drug use, community policing and so much more. I was glad to hear both Ministers emphasise the importance of a preventative approach to addressing crime but actions not words will determine the outcome.”