Generations of families are dealing with trauma similar to conflict zones after living with years of drug intimidation, violence and addiction in areas of Dublin.
That’s according to Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí Doolan who’s latest contribution to Dublin City Council’s Joint Policing Committee was to outline how some communities are “teetering on the edge of lawlessness.”
The councillor says many residents are afraid to go to Gardaí as they don’t trust them. Cllr Doolan said some parts of Dublin are ‘communities in trauma‘, similar to conflict zones.
“We’re not talking about individuals in trauma but whole families and whole communities in trauma from intergenerational issues caused perhaps by drug-related intimidation, addiction, unemployment, mental health, violence, criminality.
“If that happens over and over and over again in a concentrated area then people end up living with trauma.
“They are living with violence or the threat of violence all the time and that manifests itself in very clear ways.”
He said the trauma is rooted in drug-related intimidation, mental health problems, addiction and criminality “You can have the robbed car syndrome, where there are cars tearing up and down the road.
“The gardaí can’t pursue them. They have a policy of non-pursuing because they feel they make the situation worse.
“The scramblers, the robbed bikes, the drug-related intimidation and some of the chaos that goes along with addiction.”
Cllr Doolan said dedicated long-term funding is needed to tackle intergenerational problems in certain communities around the city.
Helen Hall, chief executive of the Policing Authority, said the authority frequently heard of a lack of trust in gardaí by young people, migrants, Travellers, the LGBT community and sex workers.
She told the The Irish Times “There’s a fear actually that even if a crime is committed against them, they will not report it to the guards.”
She added that intimidation by way of drugs harassment has left many, many people terrified to go to gardaí in case their families were harmed.
Ms Hall added that she felt gardaí did not have training in dealing with traumatised people.