Gardaí to increase surveillance in areas prone to anti-social behaviour

Varadkar and McEntee meet Garda chiefs to discuss police strategy in at-risk areas

Gardaí will undertake daily and weekly reviews of policing strategy in areas prone to crime, with a greater focus on the congregation of large groups of people who could be engaged in anti-social behaviour.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee met Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on Monday to discuss recruitment levels, Garda visibility in Dublin, the deployment of bodycams and the upcoming budget.

Deputy Garda Commissioner Shawna Coxon also attended the meeting.

In a statement afterwards, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said that new policing responses will involve further targeted intelligence-led operations, including surveillance, searches of people and locations, and an increased focus on the congregation of large groups of people who can be perceived as engaging in anti-social behaviour.


National resources including the Garda Air Support Unit, Garda Mounted Unit and Garda Dog Unit will also be deployed to enhance Garda visibility in Dublin City Centre and its environs.

It comes after an attack on a US tourist in Dublin city centre which left him with life-changing injuries.

Stephen Termini (57) had just left his accommodation in the Celt Lodge guesthouse on Talbot Street in Dublin’s north inner city and was walking to another pub when he encountered a group of youths. He was then attacked.

Mr Varadkar and Ms McEntee also discussed recruitment with the Garda Commissioner, noting that more than 100 new gardaí have graduated so far this year and over 460 are in active training – with two more classes due into Templemore in October and December.

“Minister McEntee said that the roll out of community safety partnerships in every part of the country is a vital part of our plan to build stronger, safer communities,” the department spokeswoman said. “Each partnership will develop an action plan to focus on the needs of their area. Partnerships will be able to develop solutions – whether it’s more CCTV, solutions to deal with drug abuse, youth services, public lighting, litter, the built environment or anti-social behaviour or crime

Ms McEntee also said that the latest round of funding under the Community Safety Innovation Fund – a ring-fenced fund to reinvest seized proceeds of crime – will be announced in the coming weeks and will fund projects around the country to improve safety.

Mr Harris outlined his operational plans to increase the visibility of An Garda Síochána in Dublin, which will now be supported by the additional allocation of €10m overtime announced by Ms McEntee last Friday.

On the forthcoming budget, Ms McEntee said a package being developed which supports the Garda. “A range of issues are being discussed including measures to support recruitment, the retirement age, and the age of entry into An Garda Síochána,” the department spokeswoman said.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times