Every three months I chair a meeting of the Dublin Central Joint Policing Committee in City Hall. I started the December 2011 meeting with a minutes silence for Conor Hickey and thanked the Gardai from Mountjoy for the support they gave his family and the community at the time of his death.
The Gardai gave updates on policing activity in the North Inner City and Cabra Glasnevin areas. In the year to date the Gardai have seized drugs of a value in excess of €7m, there have been more than 6000 searches, more than 8000 arrests and more than 700 inspections of licensed premises. The trend for burglaries is up as is common in a recession but the number of assaults causing harm is down. More than 150 individuals are being case managed by the Gardai.
The issue of serious anti-social behaviour on St Lawrences Place East was raised and will be further addressed at the next meeting of the JPC. The issue of repeat offenders was discussed and the Gardai explained how they are trying to get the courts service to re-organise the court system so that the courts deal with offenders and their crimes as opposed to the current system whereby the courts are organised around the crime. I proposed and it was agreed that the JPC would make a submission to the Minister for Justice and the Courts Service supporting the Gardas proposal. It is also accepted that Dublin City Council has a role to play in dealing with offenders who are also City Council tenants. Dublin City Council has been working with the Gardai on a list of identified tenants. Dublin City Council is to provide a report in relation to social housing provision in the North Wall area in advance of the next JPC.
I raised the issue of the closure of Whitehall Garda station and the members supported my proposal to write to the Minister for Justice and ask him to reconsider the matter and reverse his decision. It was further proposed and agreed that we would invite the Minister for Justice to the attend a meeting of the JPC so he could see first hand how the JPC functions.
The closure of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station was also raised and the Government was criticised for not providing funding for its refurbishment. Inspector Sean Ward has successfully made a case to re-open a small public office in Fitzgibbon Street and to maintain Garda patrols in the area but funding for the substantial refurbishment of the station is not forthcoming from the Government. It was agreed to raise this issue with the Minister for Justice.
There was a report from DCC on the issues raised by residents and being addressed at the seven local policing forums that operate in Dublin Central.
There was a report from the Cabra Community Local Policing Forum and from the Community representatives to the JPC.
There was no report from the North Inner City Drugs Taskforce or from the North Inner City Policing Forum.
There will be a meeting of the members for the JPC to agree the 2012 Policing Plan for Dublin Central in advance of the next JPC. Mary.