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Dáil statement by Minister of State Frank Feighan regarding update on the proposed Garda Station for Dublin 13 and 17

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On behalf of the Minister, I would like to thank Deputy Ó Ríordáin for raising this matter here today.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. Works in relation to Garda accommodation are progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the OPW.

The current Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme, which runs to 2021, is based on agreed Garda priorities and covers over 30 locations around the country, supported by significant Exchequer funding across the Garda and OPW Votes.

While a new station in Dublin 13 and 17 is not part of the current programme, I understand from An Garda Síochána that proposals for a new station will be considered as part of the next Garda accommodation programme.

In the meantime, the Minister has been advised that local Garda management have a policing plan for the District in question which incorporates a weekly Garda Clinic in the area, operated by the Community Policing Unit from Coolock. This includes regular liaison meetings with resident groups to deal with policing matters.

The Deputy will also be aware that as part of the overall strategy to oppose criminality, the Garda authorities pursue a range of partnerships with community stakeholders; for example, the Community Alert Programme and the Garda Text Alert Scheme.

That said, the Minister is very conscious of how the impact of anti-social behaviour affects the quality of life for local communities. Crime prevention and diversion, beginning with our young people, are priorities for the Minister and the Programme for Government contains a number of commitments to tackle anti-social behavior, including the following:

A commitment to set up a special expert forum on antisocial behaviour, to consider the effectiveness of existing legislation and propose new ways forward, including new powers for An Garda Síochána and additional interventions to support parenting of offenders;

New legislation, implementing the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, which will, among other elements, redefine policing to include prevention of harm to those who are vulnerable. This approach will mandate multi-agency collaboration, in conjunction with impacted communities;

Development of a Youth Justice Strategy 2020-2026 which will include consideration of the full range of issues connected to children and young people at risk of coming into contact with the criminal justice system, including early intervention and preventative work.

The Minister is confident that these and other measures will make a tangible contribution, not only to the communities referred to by the Deputy but to communities across the country.