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Do we want to let Adam and Paul and their pals take over?

Remember the movie from a few years back, Adam and Paul?

It depicted two Dublin drug addicts as they wandered around the capital trying to buy drugs.

Well Adam and Paul (below) are alive and kicking. And they're not alone. Every day the city centre is plagued with scores of drug addicts, roaming the streets begging, mugging and trying to score, by any means necessary.

These real life Adam and Pauls have multiplied to such an extent that cafe and pubs are complaining that their customers are being harassed, while innocent people are being mugged of phones and handbags in broad daylight.

Walk the streets off O'Connell Street and in Temple Bar. Drug dealers can be seen plying their trade and addicts injecting.

This is because every morning hundreds of Dublin's 5,000 or so heroin addicts commute into the city to the many drug treatment centres.

Matters have now reached crisis point in terms of anti-social behaviour and crime. The vast majority of such crimes are committed by drug addicts to feed their habit.

This situation has deteriorated to such an extent that Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke is now calling for a task force to tackle this growing problem.

However, the drug problem in Dublin's city centre is certainty not a new one. In 1998 I was a uniformed garda inspector at Store Street.

Even then the alarming increase in anti-social behaviour - such as begging, assaults and thefts by heroin addicts - had become a major problem.

A dedicated operation, named Boulevard, was set up to combat this menace. The operation was fully financed and resourced, with extra manpower.

Individual gardai were assigned for periods of up to 12 hours on intensive patrolling of specific areas of the city centre.

resources

I worked on Operation Boulevard for almost two years and it turned out to be a success due to a zero tolerance adopted to low level crime, assaults, antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and theft.

Many arrests were made and overall it was lauded by Dublin City Council. Because of my experience on it I would back the Lord Mayor's current call. The powers-that-be should take Operation Boulevard as a template.

Of course, this requires resources, which requires money. That's the bottom line - if we want to reclaim our streets from the Adams and Pauls it will cost money.

But don't the public, residents, workers and tourists, deserve to be safe on the main streets of our capital city?



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