165. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice if she will report on Operation Citizen; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57746/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Government is determined to tackle anti-social behaviour and I am very conscious of the impact it can have on the quality of life for local communities, including in Dublin city centre.
We want people to feel safe and be safe in Dublin, whether they live or work in Dublin or want to visit and enjoy our capital city. The Deputy will be aware that Budget 2022 includes significant additional funding to support initiatives under the Youth Justice Strategy and the new Community Safety Innovation Fund which will support community based initiatives to ensure public safety. In addition, North Inner City Dublin is one of three pilot locations where Local Community Safety Partnerships have been established.
Gardaí continue to implement high visibility policing plans to address public disorder related issues and anti-social behaviour, with particular overt and targeted policing of public places at times when public order incidents and anti-social behaviour typically increase, such as bank holiday weekends.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that Operation Citizen commenced in Dublin city centre on 22 October 2021. This operation places a particular focus on anti-social behaviour, public order and quality of life issues, assaults and high-volume crimes, and involves increased visible policing, particularly at key locations. In addition to Garda resources from the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Central and South Central divisions, Operation Citizen is supported by resources from the wider Dublin Region, Garda Roads Policing Units, the Garda National Public Order Unit and Garda Operational Support Units (Mounted Unit and Dog Unit).
I am advised by the Garda authorities that there are in excess of 100 Gardaí patrolling Dublin city centre each weekend evening. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 4pm, up to 30 additional Gardaí are deployed specifically on foot patrols in the city centre, resourced from outside the two core city centre divisions. Every Friday and Saturday evening, a Garda National Public Order Unit of 25 personnel (on mobile patrols) patrol the city centre. In excess of 500 additional hours policing are provided each week.
During the first full week of Operation Citizen (25 October – 31 October 2021), including Bank Holiday Monday (25 October) and Halloween (31 October), An Garda Síochána advise that there were in excess of 50 arrests and 65 charges preferred before the courts.
An Garda Síochána have provided me with the below provisional crime statistics, up to week ending 31 October 2021, which continue to demonstrate reductions across the vast majority of crime types compared to the same year to date period in 2020, despite far greater public restrictions in place in 2020 and the current far higher public usage of public spaces.

- Dublin Region North Central South Central
Assaults Causing Harm 0% -2% 0%
Minor Assaults -6% -4% -18%
Public Order Offences -11% -20% -3%
Drunkenness Offences -5% -10% -5%
Crimes against the Person -4% -6% -10%
Theft from Shop -15% -15% +3%
Theft from Person -46% -46% -53%
Theft from Vehicle -35% -18% -23%
Theft of Pedal Cycle -17% -9% -13%
Robbery from the Person -23% -20% -2%
Note: All crime statistics are operational, provisional and subject to change.
The Deputy may be interested to note that Garda Operation Soteria is also in place to ensure a reduction of assaults in public, reduce fear of violence within communities, prioritise assault investigations and focus on problem areas and assault hotspots.