I was disturbed to meet a number of elderly and vulnerable people yesterday out in the Navan Road area who felt very isolated in their own homes, particularly given the prevalence of burglaries lately – specifically a case yesterday where a lady was tied up, gagged and attacked in her own home.
It is clear that we need to implement further practical initiatives to combat crime, and ideally put more guards on the street. The recruitment of 300 guards is welcomed, as is the provision of new money for Garda vehicles. However, I feel other initiatives could be undertaken also: two things I feel could have an impact are being piloted in the North Inner City of Dublin – one is crime text alerts, and the other is a Garda door-to-door service.
The door-to-door service requires Gardai effectively canvassing door-to-door to both introduce themselves to local residents, so that they know at least one local Garda and feel less vulnerable, but also allows them to carry out a survey about the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the service. I believe this should be expanded nationally. I have spoken of the benefits of the crime text alert service in this house before, but feel that I should reemphasise that benefit and call once again for funds to be given so that it can be rolled out more widely and in a more formalised fashion.