Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan has told a forum that Dublin criminals were not winning and gardaí were making progress in the fight against organised crime in the city.
However, he said he understood the public’s frustration with the situation.
Speaking at the Crime in Dublin City public forum in City Hall on Wednesday night, where members of the public gathered to discuss crime in the inner city, Mr Nolan said eight people had been charged in connection with recent murders in the area and €2 million worth of property had been seized this year.
“I don’t think the criminals are winning. I think we are getting on top of them and I think we will keep getting on top of them but we need your help, your support, your information,” he said.
The forum was hosted by RTÉ’s Joe Duffy and heard from locals about their concerns regarding crime and cuts in Garda resources.
About 100 people attended, including gardaí and politicians.
One man, David Lavery, said his arm was broken during an assault on a night out and he needed a metal bar fitted.
He had chased his attacker, he said, but could not find any gardaí to report the assault.
“There are no gardaí and nothing is being done to stop this crime at night-time,” he said.
Marie Metcalfe, co-ordinator of the Community Policing Forum in the northeast inner city, said that although the amount of drugs being seized was overwhelming, the number of weapons in the capital was intimidating the local community.
A man called Noel told the forum: “I would say a lot of people here know who are selling drugs but they are afraid to say anything. They will get a bullet in the back of their head.”
In the run-up to proceedings, Paul White explained how he had grown up in the inner city and remembered the efforts to rid the area of drug-dealers in the 1980s.
“I think [the forum] is a good thing, it’s a start,” he said.
“I think we would have learned by now that we should have done something for the people in the inner city.
“It’s a very strong community but people are living in fear.”
Speaking beforehand, Lord Mayor Brendan Carr, who organised the event, said the forum was an attempt to draw a response to ongoing crime issues from Dublin citizens.
“Every time there is a serious incident the whole city is being affected. It’s not just the local community where it happens, it’s the whole of Dublin,” he said.
“Dubliners in general feel like they want to have a say in the issues that are concerning them and in the solutions.”
The forum also functioned as an opportunity for gardaí to hear directly from the inner city community and aimed to build trust as part of an overall solution to criminal activity.
Mr Carr said the forum was intended as more than a simple venting exercise and that something tangible had to come from the evening’s proceedings.
The chair of the Government's northeast inner city taskforce, Kieran Mulvey, was present at the forum to listen to concerns.
The taskforce was established in July in response to a series of shootings in the city this year linked to the Kinahan-Hutch gangland feud.