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Question

122. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice the initiatives that are being taken to tackle antisocial behaviour; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57947/21]

Answer

Deputy James Browne: I thank Deputy Haughey for raising this important matter. I can assure the Deputy that the Government is determined to tackle antisocial behaviour. Our communities deserve to feel safe and to be safe and our three local community safety partnerships being piloted in Dublin north inner city, Waterford and Longford are designed to identify the issues causing communities to feel unsafe and to address them through a collaborative approach. I am very conscious of the negative effect that antisocial behaviour can have on the quality of life for individuals and for local communities.
In line with a commitment in the programme for Government, I established an expert forum on antisocial behaviour last year. This forum is considering the effectiveness of existing legislation and looking at proposals for new ways forward, including whether new powers for gardaí and additional interventions to support parenting of offenders are needed. A subgroup of the forum has recently been established to examine the issue of knife crime. This follows a previous subgroup which examined the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes. Everything we are doing in respect of antisocial behaviour is designed to identify whether greater legislation or Garda powers are needed but also the kind of supports we can put into the community to divert people away from carrying out antisocial behaviour.
The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is responsible under the law for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, which includes the planning and deployment of Garda resources in response to crime trends. I as Minister of State have no direct role in those decisions. I am assured however that An Garda Síochána continues to implement high visibility policing plans to address public disorder related issues and antisocial behaviour, with particular overt and targeted policing of public places at times when public order incidents and antisocial behaviour typically increase, such as bank holiday weekends.
In particular, An Garda Síochána commenced Operation Citizen on 22 October. This operation is focused on reassuring the public, residents, visitors, businesses and workers that Dublin city centre is a positive and safe environment. Particular focus is being placed on antisocial behaviour, public order and quality of life issues, assaults and high-volume crimes.