Today, during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Broughan has called on the Taoiseach and Fine Gael to ensure that the need for a Garda Station and greater police presence is highlighted with Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris. Deputy Broughan told the Taoiseach that some districts of Dublin Bay North have being suffering greatly from burglaries, car theft and related joyriding, illegal dumping and serious nightly anti-social and criminal behaviour. Deputy Broughan said that while nationally homicides and a number of other crime categories thankfully fell in 2018, there are disturbing rises in several types of crime in recent figures recently presented at the DMR (Dublin Metropolitan Region) North Joint Policing Committee. These include assaults, burglary, criminal damage, thefts, public order incidents and domestic violence.
Deputy Broughan has been making longstanding representations on this matter and has received comprehensive replies from both the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Garda Commissioner himself. The Minister, of course, informed Deputy Broughan that the Commissioner and his senior team have responsibility for proposals on the opening and closing of Garda Stations and for Garda boundaries and the allocation of resources. The Commissioner then outlined the key elements of the Garda response to anti-social and criminal behaviour and referenced the Garda Capital Investment Programme to 2021 and the Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme. However, Deputy Broughan pointed out to the Taoiseach that Garda sources indicate that a new district headquarters is being planned for the DMR North and asked was it not logical to place that new headquarters in the burgeoning North/South Fringe with an expected population of 50,000 people.
Deputy Broughan says “The constituents in Dublin Bay North have a great sense of community spirit and there are many residents associations that work together to try and attain improved facilities and amenities for their parishes. An urgently needed Garda Station must be prioritised for the North Fringe of Dublin City/South Fringe of Fingal. Of course, other constituents remain very unhappy that Howth Station (like Malahide) is closed at night. Fine Gael always likes to claim that it is good on crime but the reality is that it decimated resources for An Garda Síochána during austerity years and the recent restoration of resources is not enough to make up for the damage done to some communities. A new Garda Station is needed in the North Fringe and greater resources need to be provided to the Garda Commissioner for fit-for-purpose IT systems, which will give more accurate crime reporting data.”