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Knife crime Gardai begin policing operation in Dublin's north inner city after spate of violence

This follows an emergency motion at last night’s Dublin City Council meeting where local councillors called for prison sentences to be doubled for knife possession.

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Gardai at the scene of a stabbing at Seville Place in Dublin.

Gardai at the scene of a stabbing at Seville Place in Dublin.

Gardai at the scene of a stabbing at Seville Place in Dublin.

Gardai have confirmed that they have initiated a policing operation in Dublin’s North Inner city in response to a number of recent incidents in the area.

This follows an emergency motion at last night’s Dublin City Council meeting where local councillors called for prison sentences to be doubled for knife possession.

Councillors in Dublin's north inner city made the call following a spate of stabbing incidents in the area in recent weeks.

One motion called for the prison sentence for possession of a knife to be increased from five years to ten as had been proposed in a private members bill from Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan TD.

The motion was put forward by independent North city councillors Nial Ring, Anthony Flynn, Cieran Perry and Christy Burke and also called for a Ministerial task force to be set up.

Another cross party motion called for a meeting between the Lord Mayor and the Minister for Justice and Garda Commissioner.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, one of the councillors, Nial Ring, said the impact of recent knife attacks on the streets cannot be underestimated.

“People are literally living in fear and looking to the authorities for action,” he claimed.

“The four independent councillors in the Central Area are now, through this motion, calling for this action and the Minister must answer this call.

“Jim O'Callaghan's proposed legislation, if enacted, will send out a powerful signal that knife crime will not be tolerated " he added.

Another councillor, Cllr Cieran Perry, added: "Legislation is one part of the jigsaw in tackling this scourge but ultimately we need buy-in from the affected communities and in particular, the young people in the areas. The four Independent councillors intend to spearhead a ground-up initiative to highlight the knife risk to our youth".

Cllr Christy Burke has requested an immediate meeting with senior Gardaí as well as senior officials from the Department of Justice to discuss the issue.

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"A meeting with Senior Gardaí is essential as we need to know what policing response is in place and what additional resources are needed to equip the Gardaí to effectively deal with this problem,” he said

“If there are any barriers to tackling this problem we need to know what they are and what is needed to remove them.”

Also, Cllr Anthony Flynn pointed out that there has been “an alarming increase in knife crime within the North Inner City over the last number of months.

“What is required is an increase in visual police presence, active community policing and engagement with young people,” he said.

"The reintroduction of Jim O'Callaghan's private member's bill will be the first step in reassuring the city that knife crime will be taken seriously".

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