Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD, has criticised proposals to introduce community wardens in Dublin as a ‘sticking plaster’ for the government’s ongoing failure to deliver an appropriate policing system.
His comments follow an announcement by North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership yesterday that a new Community Safety Warden imitative which will be privately funded by local businesses.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:
“It is clear that policing is at crisis point in Dublin, after the government has repeatedly failed to put in place the appropriate resources and planning to enable the Gardaí to do their jobs.
“Across the county, far too many communities feel unsafe on the streets and in their own homes. It isn’t good enough.
“I am concerned that this specific community warden proposal is an overall symptom of the issue we currently face regarding the shortage of Gardaí to police Dublin as a whole.
“We have a very clear Garda retention issue, which is also compounded by Gardaí who ‘want out’ of Dublin, as one Garda put it to me recently. The cost of living crisis and rising rent costs mean that many Gardaí are unable to live in our cities. In addition, many gardaí feel unsafe due to lack of resources and staffing.
“The proposal being funded by Dublin Town has listed duties such as observing and reporting antisocial behaviour, as well as providing a visible on-street presence to reassure footfall in those areas. It will be based in one specific area with a large number of retailers who will be privately funding the initiative.
“Quite plainly, my reading of this is that it will act as private security with a community label.
“Rather than using community wardens as a sticking plaster, the government should instead focus on delivering the resources necessary for the Gardaí to do their jobs.
“Community wardens play a crucial role in community policing and I commend the positive impact that they have in communities across the country. However, in isolation they are not the solution.
“The government must come forward with a comprehensive, detailed and deliverable plan for safe policing in Dublin so that all communities can feel safe and supported.”