A special expert group will be established to consider the scourge of knife crime in our communities, according to Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond.
Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond has received confirmation from the Department of Justice that it is planning to establish a subgroup of the anti-social behaviour forum to consider the issue of knife crime and ways to address it.
Deputy Richmond has urged the new forum to follow the Scottish example in terms of tackling knife crime.
Deputy Richmond said: “It is vital that the subgroup will work quickly to develop plans and look at what’s being done in Scotland 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.
“The Expert Forum on Anti-Social Behaviour was established by the Department of Justice in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government.
“It is an effective way to consider anti-social behaviour and other matters as, in addition to cross-Government departments, the forum comprises the Gardai, local authorities, business representative groups and university bodies.
“A subgroup of the forum has already helped inform a new scheme to tackle the misuse of scramblers and quadbikes in our communities.
“I welcome confirmation that a similar subgroup will look at knife crime which is an issue I have raised consistently in the Dáil, as we as legislators consider new approaches to combating the problem and ultimately help prevent senseless and needless attacks and deaths in our communities.
“The aim of the forum is to consider the effectiveness of existing legislation and propose new ways to tackle the issue, including new powers for An Garda Síochána and additional interventions to support parenting of offenders.
“We have, in Scotland, a clear plan for how we can tackle knife crime, not just as a criminal justice issue but as a public health issue,” Deputy Richmond concluded.