The Lord Mayor of Dublin has said more gardaí will patrol the city centre following reports of anti-social behaviour, but said there has “actually been a decrease” in serious crime over the past year.
There has been much discussion over the safety of the city in recent days after Irish Olympian Jack Woolley was randomly attacked by eight to 12 people on Dublin’s Liffey boardwalk last Friday night.
Following a meeting with the Assistant Garda Commissioner today, Dublin Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland said gardaí are “very aware and conscious of the issue and particularly of the public perception of safety in the city.”
Yesterday, Dublin City Council CEO Owen Keegan said he said he doesn’t believe the capital is necessarily unsafe – it just has that perception.
“Listening to people recount their experiences in Dublin it’s very sad that this is happening,” Ms Gilliland said on RTÉ Radio One’ Drivetime today.
She added that due to the antisocial behaviour highlighted over the past few days that there will be “a greater presence of visible yellow-jacketed gardaí in public spaces this weekend.”
Asked whether this is due to the All-Ireland hurling final, Ms Gilliland said: “Absolutely there will be more policing on the street because of the weekend that's in it but it’s also more in response to the antisocial behaviour as opposed to the fact that we have an All-Ireland weekend, that would be norm that you increase resources.”
She added that it won’t be just this weekend that there will be an increased garda presence but after that too.
However, the Dublin Lord Mayor said it’s very difficult to “anticipate and get ahead of” random unprovoked attacks.
Ms Gilliland added that despite there being more conversations about attacks in the city, “there is actually a decrease in serious crime in the city, I asked [gardaí] if there an increase in the reporting of this and if they see a trend going upwards and they said they don’t.
"By us talking about it and sharing stories we are becoming more aware of it so it’s really hard to judge if it’s increased or decreased but we are where we are and I want to work with An Garda Siochána to improve the situation.”