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  • Northside West

Anti-social warnings fall dramatically

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Anti-social warnings fall dramatically
Anti-social warnings fall dramatically

THE number of Anti-Social Behaviour Warnings to children and teenagers aged 12-18 in Northside areas has fallen dramatically since they were introduced a decade ago.

Figures released to Dublin North West TD, Róisín Shortall (SD), show that the Garda Northern and North Central areas of the Dublin Metropolitan Region had a total of 63 warnings issued in 2008, but only 19 last year.

In the Western district, which includes Dublin 15, Gardaí dished out 119 warnings in 2008 but none at all in 2017. In total, that’s a staggering fall of almost 90 percent for the three areas combined.

In the entire Dublin Region, including Southside districts, 224 warnings were issued in 2008. In 2010 that figure rose to 330 but since then they’ve fallen year-on-year to a low of just 25 in 2017.

Powers introduced in 2006 allow Gardaí to deal with anti-social behaviour in a number of ways including issuing warnings and requesting youngsters to enter into good behaviour contracts.

These measures are designed to give youths engaging in minor offences a chance to change their behaviour and avoid courts and more serious anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs).

Deputy Shortall says that while children shouldn’t be criminalised powers granted to the Gardaí to tackle the problem of increasing youth crime are not being used.

“When a child or young person is getting involved in persistent anti-social behaviour, early intervention is vital to stop them being drawn in to more serious crime,” she said.

“That is why Gardaí were granted the power to issue official Behaviour Warnings to children and their parents, to make them aware that more serious steps may be taken if the behaviour continues.

“However, the figures show that the number of these warnings has plummeted.”

The Social Democrats co-leader says community workers have been reporting a significant increase in the number of minors becoming involved in drug dealing because of a perception they’re untouchable under the law.

“These warnings were introduced to nip this sort of behaviour in the bud,” she added. “Yet, according to the provisional numbers for this year, just 10 warnings have been issued.

“There is clearly something wrong with the system. We need to know why the Gardaí are not using the powers available to them and what, if anything, they are doing as an alternative.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here