Dáil told of ‘epidemic’ of burglaries in Stepaside

Independent TD Shane Ross calls for reopening of garda station

There had been an “epidemic of burglaries’’ in Stepaside, south Dublin, since the closure of the local garda station, Independent TD Shane Ross told the Dail.

There had been an “epidemic of burglaries’’ in Stepaside, south Dublin, since the closure of the local garda station, Independent TD Shane Ross told the Dail.

 

There has been an “epidemic of burglaries’’ in Stepaside, in south Dublin, since the closure of the local Garda station, Independent TD Shane Ross told the Dáil on Thursday.

“We don’t need Garda responses to burglary,’’ he said. “We want Garda prevention of burglary.’’

He added that since the station’s closure, there had been burglaries in virtually every shop on one side of the street.

“One of the bookies has been burgled twice in two weeks, because they got such a good haul out of it,’’ he added. “The pub has been done once, the hairdresser, and many, many houses.’’

Mr Ross said Stepaside was “open season’’ for burglars who were not the slightest bit impressed that there were a few more mobile Garda patrol cars, which there might or might not be, in the area.

He believed there were virtually no arrests and convictions for burglaries in the area. “They don’t catch anybody anymore,” he added. “And once the criminals know that, they are going to keep coming.’’

He said putting gardaí on the beat, with a presence in the area, would keep the burglars away.

Mr Ross criticised the “phantom Garda idea, where you go around playing cops and robbers”, adding that a permanent Garda presence was required in such a large area.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said Mr Ross was not correct in asserting gardaí were not arresting people for burglaries.

There were arrests and prosecutions for burglaries and people were being jailed, she said, adding there was a need to focus on the repeat burglars, the serious offenders.

“It is a serious crime and it is being dealt with seriously by An Garda Síochána, ’’ she added.

Ms Fitzgerald said the decision taken relating to Stepaside involved increased garda visibility and patrol hours.