Greater awareness of knife crime crucial

16 April 2024
  • Knife amnesty could work to help end epidemic of knife crime

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised Fine Gael’s kneejerk reaction to the increasing levels of knife crime.

Calling for the roll out of knife amnesty bins in the city, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said increasing sentencing for knife crime alone is not an effective way to tackle this issue.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Knife crimes are extremely serious because, as we have seen, when these weapons are in the wrong hands they can be as dangerous as a gun.

“There have been a number of horrific incidents of people being attacked with knives in our capital city, and I’m deeply concerned at the number of young people who seem to carry a knife as protection. It’s not right.

“More boots on the ground will be vital to making the city feel safer but we’ll remain trapped in this vicious cycle of anti-social behaviour and incidents unless proper attention is paid to the causes.

“Fine Gael’s kneejerk reaction to beef up sentencing will not work unless it addresses the creaking justice system in Ireland.

“Many of these incidents could be avoided entirely if Gardai were more visible in our cities and towns. Officers should be out on the streets at times and places they are most needed but resources are not what they should be. Gardaí are overworked and too few are entering the force due to a myriad of issues around pay and conditions.

“We should be increasing the numbers of community Gardaí so that people can live in peace and safety, free from harassment, intimidation and violence.

“I am urging the Minister to consider the roll out of knife amnesty bins in our capital city as a trial to deter this behaviour and raise awareness of the serious consequences of carrying knives. Campaigners in London have previously highlighted the positive impact these amnesty bins can have.

“Almost three years ago after the killing of Josh Dunne, we called for the introduction of a knife amnesty or a “surrender and compensation scheme” similar to that in a number of cities in Scotland.

“Ultimately, we need to a hard look at why young lads are falling into a life of boredom, chaos and viciousness. Fine Gael should put more attention on this than sentencing.”

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