District with huge crime rate has no cop shop

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THE Government is facing mounting pressure to reopen a Dublin Garda station after it emerged that the north inner city had the highest crime rate in Ireland last year. The number of offences recorded was more than five times the national average, official crime figures show.

The Dublin North Central Garda division had a crime rate of 2,571 offences per 10,000 population. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the figures made for “very sobering reading”.

During Leaders’ questions, McDonald said it was “beyond explanation” why Fitzgibbon Street Garda station, which is in Dublin’s north inner city, had not been reopened since its closure a number of years ago.

“Why are we still waiting for the reopening of Fitzgibbon Garda station? It’s still closed and it’s cited in the location that has a five-fold level of crime as against other areas across the state,” she said.

crime has become normalised

“It’s very sad that encountering crime has become normalised for so many of our citizens because it’s not too much to ask that you can walk safely down your street, it’s not too much to ask that you can sleep soundly in your bed.

“The people of the North inner city shouldn’t have to constantly fight for the ownership of their communities. They shouldn’t live under the scourge of criminals who thrive on the misery and fear of families.”

The Sinn Fein leader also queried why the local community policing forum was also closed last year.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted he did not know why the key Garda station had not reopened, pledging to find out this week.

“I think it’s worth acknowledging that we live in a country that has a relatively low crime rate. How we’re fortunate, I believe, to live in a country that has a relatively low crime rate compared to other developed countries,” he said.

The inner city also had the highest rate for 11 of the 14 main crime categories, including homicide, sexual offences, assaults, drug crime and public order offences.

Mr Varadkar said the Government was committed to re-opening the station.

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