Monday 21 October 2019

Concern raised on spike in crime

Ken Phelan

Local councillors have agreed to write to the Garda Commissioner expressing their 'serious concerns' of an increase in crime in Portmarnock and Malahide, 'particularly' in relation to a rise in personal assaults and car thefts in the area.

Following a motion raised at a recent meeting of the Howth Malahide Area Committee, the council is now to request an increase in patrols, manpower, community operations and 'other resources' from the Garda Commissioner, to 'target those responsible.'

The motion, put forward by Cllr Brian McDonagh (LAB), received widespread support amongst councillors.

Cllr McDonagh said the community was concerned about the rise of crime in the area, 'and on the balance of things, rightly so', and asked the support of councillors in passing the motion.

Supporting the motion, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien (FF) said that the issue of Garda resources was one that came up at 'every canvas', and was raised on a regular basis by concerned residents.

Cllr O'Brien said that he and Deputy Darragh O'Brien had a meeting recently with senior Gardai on the matter, in an effort to 'express the sense of frustration' in the community around Garda resources.

This, he said, was not directed towards 'rank and file' gardai, who were simply 'trying to do their job', but that some members of the community were taking the view that with some crime, there was 'no point in recording it'.

This is, 'absolutely not a scenario we want to see taking hold', he added.

Stating it was 'obvious' there was an increase in crime in both the Portmarnock and Malahide areas, Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) pointed out that the problem was being 'articulated' to 'Superintendents, Chief Superintendents, Inspectors and council officials' at Fingal Joint Policing Committee meetings.

Cllr Lavin said that while he 'sympathised' with the motion, he believed that the Fingal Joint Policing Committee was 'probably a better place for it to be articulated.'

Cllr Jimmy Guerin (NP) said he 'fully' supported the motion, and that he thought such a motion was in fact the appropriate forum for the matter to be raised, because, he said, 'as elected representatives', councillors were hearing of the problem from their constituents.

Cllr Guerin pointed out that the Howth/Malahide area was the 'only one without a 24 hour garda station', and that if a 24 hour garda station were functioning, there would be 'a reduction in crime', and that people would have the 'comfort of knowing they could contact the guards.'

Following much debate and the motion having been passed, terms of the motion will now be forwarded to the Garda Commissioner, with the committee to be informed when a response is issued.

Fingal Independent