There’s a call for a zero tolerance approach to the widespread anti-social behaviour and criminality that is regularly perpetrated on Dublin’s city streets.
It follows an assault in the docklands last weekend that has left a man in a critical condition in hospital.
Shortly before 9 o’clock on Sunday evening a man in his 20s was reportedly attacked by a group of of up to ten teenage boys at the luas stop on George’s Dock, leaving him with serious head injuries.
The Irish Independent reports the man was approached by a group of teenagers before he was set upon.
The paper said the youths were between 15 and 18-years-old with two of them believed to be the main attackers.
Alan Robinson from the Docklands Business Forum says they’re dealing with graffiti, drug dealing and abusive and intimidating behaviour;
”Members of the public are increasingly weary about approaching any groups of kids or young adults that are engaging in this type of behaviour, so they are leaving it up to the guards, but the guards can’t be everywhere.”
Independent councillor Mannix Flynn says a crackdown is needed, similar to the approach taken to tackle domestic violence;
”This is not anti-social behaviour, this is criminality, this is criminal behaviour, this is way beyond graffiti or way beyond putting your feet on a seat on a train. This is a serious assault by individuals in the city centre, on top of many, many assaults that have taken place in the city centre and many of the citizens are feeling very, very frightened about going in there.”
He wants greater enforcement from the Gardaí.
”We have to deploy An Garda Siochana over a long period to bring back, first of all the confidence of the public to go back into the city centre and to deal with those who would offend.”
But criminologist Trina O’Connor says early intervention is needed rather than jail time;
”If we marginalise young people when they are teenagers and criminalise them well then we are just excluding them from society. What we need to do is we need to encourage pro-social behaviours in young people.”
Anyone with information on Sunday’s assault is being asked to contact gardaí.