Gardai outline efforts to turn youth away from crime
Details of the efforts made by Gardai to divert youths away from the criminal justice system were outlined at the meeting of Dundalk's Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
Cllr. Edel Corrigan asked Superintendent Gerard Curley about what impact he thought the schemes were having on youth crime rates. The superintendent outlined how there had been 306 referrals to the Juvenile Liaison Office at Dundalk Garda station.
Gardai are involved in the Team Project, Muirhevnamor and the High Voltage project in Cox's Demesne.
He said the number of referrals were in line with the fact that Dundalk is a large urban centre with densely populated areas, but the statistics 'have not changed in relation to the people who re-offend'.
He said: 'There are those who will re-offend but the vast majority of those who go through these schemes don't. Unfortunately, sometimes, these youths end up before the courts long before they are 18'.
In addition, Gardai outlined how they are working with the prison and probation services. 'It's in its infancy at the moment, but we are trying to help people turn away from a life of crime'.
Gardai are also supporting older and vulnerable people, Superintendent Curley said. There are ongoing visits to elderly people and 889 victims of crime have received call-backs from officers.
Just over 40 visits have been made to 'vulnerable victims of crime' and there are two ethnic Liaison officers who meet with members of Dundalk's ethnic communities on a regular basis.