320. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to address anti-social behaviour, including drug-taking, aggressive behaviour, and violence in the Temple Bar area of Dublin 2; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40225/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can assure the Deputy that I am in ongoing contact with the Garda Commissioner in relation to the measures which are being taken to combat crime and enhance public safety in Dublin city centre, including the Temple Bar area. An Garda Síochána make full use of the extensive range of legislation which is in place to address street crime and anti-social behaviour, including drug related crime.
Tackling this type of crime is central to the overall and ongoing implementation of the Dublin City Centre Policing Plan. This involves a high-visibility uniformed presence on key thoroughfares, as well as the use of undercover Gardaí as appropriate. As part of the Garda Plan a range of dedicated policing operations and measures are in place to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre. The resumption of Garda recruitment and the deployment of newly attested Gardaí are of course key components in providing visible policing in the city centre and elsewhere. In addition to the Garda responses, I am sure the Deputy would concur that the issues involved are not simply policing ones. He will recall that I have previously met with the key state agencies and other stakeholders in relation to various actions which are aimed at improving the general environment in Dublin City Centre, and strongly support this ongoing work.
I also welcome the continued close engagement between An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council and other agencies as well as ongoing consultation with key stakeholders, such as the Dublin City Business Forum. My Department is maintaining contact with these cooperative initiatives, and I understand that positive feedback is being received in relation to the policing measures being employed by the Garda authorities, and their level of engagement with business and community interests.