Following another tragic death through knife crime, new information released to a Fine Gael TD on the number of knives seized this year has shown the true extent of shocking knife crime in Ireland.
Dublin Rathdown TD, Neale Richmond, has repeated his call for the expedition of a community approach to tackling knife crime at source.
Deputy Richmond said: “The death of a young man in Tallaght last night once again shows how knife crime continues to cast a tragic shadow across our streets and our communities, with 999 knives seized by Gardaí so far this year alone.
“1,057 people have been charged with knife crimes in 2021; this is on top of 2,286 people in 2020.
“The statistics show many knives are being seized from younger people. Between 2005-2019, 44% of knife seizures were from those aged between 12-23.
“I have heard too many stories of parents, teachers and siblings finding a knife in someone’s school bag, under their bed or in their school locker.
“To tackle this, we need to expedite the plans to tackle knife crime at source. Programmes such as knife amnesties, mentorships, education programmes in schools, youth diversion services and youth training programmes have had huge success in Scotland where they saw homicides reduce by more than half.
“By implementing these programmes, we can stop this crime before it happens, saving lives and transforming communities.
“While stronger sentences are important, these alone are not a sufficient deterrent and often by the time it gets that far it’s too late. Knife crime needs to be treated as a public health initiative as much as criminal justice matter, with the required support programmes provided in communities.
“Funding for these much-needed programmes can come from the new Community Safety Innovation Fund, which will put cash seized from criminals to use in stopping crime at source. Over €16 million in cash was seized from criminals in 2020.
“We owe it to those affected by knife crime and organised crime to expedite the establishment of the Community Safety Innovation Fund and put it to use in tackling the growing scourge of knife crime.”