Garda focus on anti-social behaviour in County Limerick town

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Main issue is anti-social behaviour, the new Garda superintendent for the district, Eamon O’Neill told local councillors

Main issue is anti-social behaviour, the new Garda superintendent for the district, Eamon O’Neill told local councillors

THE main crime issue coming to the fore in the Newcastle West Garda District is anti-social behaviour, the new Garda superintendent for the district, Eamon O’Neill told local councillors when he attended his first meeting of the Newcastle West Municipal District.

Now, the councillors in the Newcastle West Municipal District have agreed that local Joint Policing Committees is the way to go in the fight against crime at local level.

Speaking to the councillors before the Christmas break, Supt O’Neill said that there was anti-social behaviour in a lot of housing estates in Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. “We have a plan running in Rathkeale and the amount of incidents is down,” he said, adding that the gardai were working closely with schools. “I am delighted to say everybody has engaged.”

Supt O’Neill said there had been a major break-through on the issue of stolen quad bikes but was unable to discuss the details publics.

“My wish list for the New Year would be for a good community policing model to be put in place for the district,” he said. “Every garda will be a community garda. We will be getting visibility out into the community and please God, the issues in the Newcastle West district can be sorted out.”

“I think it is very encouraging to see the new emphasis on community policing,” Cllr Seamus Browne SF said. “Any anti-social behaviour can be resolved through good community policing and residents in the estates. They can’t be left get out of hand. We are trying to provide a safe environment for people who live in the estates, particularly children and the elderly.”

Cllr Jerome Scanlan FG said the level of anti-social incidents reported was less than the reality. And he argued there was a particular problem in estates where absentee landlords were renting out properties. “Those are the houses that need observation,” he said.

Cllr Michael Collins FF wanted to see forward planning begin in the New Year for a family friendly public bonfire at Hallowe’en. He also raised the problem of parking on footpaths.

Cllr Francis Foley FF again raised the issue of opening hours at the garda station in Abbeyfeale and the appointment of a sergeant there on a full-time basis.

“I believe there are two sergeants in Rathkeale,” he said, adding that Abbeyfeale needs its own sergeant.

Cllr Liam Galvin asked for more action by the council and by the gardai on people parking illegally in disability parking bays. Their cars should be taken off them, he said. He also took issue with the way some of the Go-Safe vans operated, particularly in the Mountmahon area of Abbeyfeale where there is no history of any fatality or accident. “It is money making exercise,” he said.