The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell T.D., today announced that he has approved the establishment of 10 new Garda Youth Diversion Projects.

The locations of the ten new projects are as follows:

The Minister approved the locations of the 10 new projects on the basis of local needs as prioritised by the Garda Commissioner. 

Making the announcement the Minister said, "Garda Youth Diversion Projects are a real and practical mechanism for assisting young people from becoming involved, or further involved, in anti-social or criminal behaviour. 

The projects are proving highly successful and are contributing to improving the quality of life within communities and enhancing Garda / community relations.

The establishment of these 10 new projects will bring the total number of Garda Youth Diversion projects in operation to 74. 

It is my intention that by the end of 2007 there will be a total of 100 such projects in operation - an increase of 88 since 1997.  To facilitate this significant expansion I have secured funding of 6.6million Euro for the Garda Youth Diversion Scheme for 2006, an increase of 1.2million Euro on the 2005 figure."

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative which seek to divert young persons from becoming involved - or further involved - in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects.  Garda Youth Diversion Projects provide an environment where the behavioural patterns of young people towards law and order can develop and mature through positive interventions and interaction with the projects. The projects are funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and are administered by the Community Relations Section of An Garda Síochána

10 July 2006