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Dublin to be patrolled by ‘wardens’ reporting on anti-social behaviour

Money seized from criminals will fund the new project on Wolfe Tone Square, Capel Street and Jervis Street.

General view of Dublin city centre

Maeve McTagggartSunday World

Money seized from criminals will go towards new ‘community wardens’ tasked with tackling anti-social behaviour in Dublin’s north inner city.

To start with, these wardens will patrol the Wolfe Tone Square, Capel Street and Jervis Street areas, the Independent Chair of the North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.

“It is really important to stress this is a non-enforcement role,” said Cormac Ó Donnchú.

The wardens will not replace gardaí and will instead take on “observing and reporting.”

This would include anti-social behaviour and issues like waste management, lighting and road maintenance.

Mr Ó Donnchú compared the job with “park wardens” who would report on crime.

The wardens are about to be appointed, he revealed and their uniforms are currently being designed.

The pilot project is being funded by the Community Safety and Innovation fund, taken from the proceeds of crime.

In October, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced that a total of €2 million seized in criminal raids would go towards the fund.

She said the fund “reflects the successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in identifying and seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminals” in Ireland.

She added that people across the country are “working tirelessly” in their local areas to “prevent crime from taking hold” and make their communities safer.

The issue of crime in the capital recently made headlines when Wexford TD Paul Keogh was slammed for referring to Dublin’’s O’Connell Street as a place “full of druggies, crime, antisocial behaviour, robberies, takeaways, alcohol, drug abuse”.

He said he was “ashamed” of O’Connell Street;

"This is our main national street in our capital city,” he declared. “And I absolutely, minister, if Dublin City Council do not address what's happening on O'Connell street and the surrounding streets around it, like there's nobody, I wouldn't send a tourist to O'Connell Street because I’d be ashamed to send them to see what is down there.”

His use of the word "druggies” ignited much controversy, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar calling it “unacceptable”.

The North Inner City Local Community Safety Partnership is one of three projects set up in advance of the new Community Policing and Safety bill passing through the Oireachtas.

It takes on board the recommendations of the Commission of the Future of Policing in Ireland that policing and community safety are not the sole responsibility of the Gardaí.

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