A Southside Fine Gael TD has called for ‘dedicated, local approaches’ to tackle the worsening scourge of knife crime.
New figures released to Dublin Rathdown’s Neale Richmond, show the worrying level of knife seizures in every County.
“We have seen a steady uptick in the amount of knives being seized annually by the Gardai as well as the amount of crimes involving a knife and sadly an increase in hospitalizations due to knives.
“Sadly, too many of us our familiar with a number of, high profile murders at the end of a knife.
“Statistics released to me by the Department of Justice via Parliamentary Question make for alarming reading as we see every County and policing division in Ireland dealing with a steady increase in knife seizures.
“The amount of knives seized in Dublin North Central in 2020 (201) are twice what they were in 2016 (98) with figures of 114 seizures already in 2021 proving equally as troubling.
The rate of seizures in Dublin South Central stood at 257 in 2020 compared to 128 in 2016, following a year on year trend in increases. Indeed, in my own division we sadly see more than double the amount of knives seized in 2020 (74) compared to 2016 (35) as well.
“Across Ireland, knife seizures are increasing with 172 knives seized in Cork City in 2020 compared to just 66 knives seized in 2016, nearly a threefold increase.
“Donegal saw 46 knives seized in 2020 compared to just 17 in 2016; Tipperary saw 57 knives seized in 2020 compared to just 24 in 2020; Kildare saw 72 knives seized in 2020 compared to just 32 in 2016. More knives have already been seized in Laois/Offaly (44) so far in 2021 compared to all of 2016 (35).
“The volume of knife seizures in certain parts of the country need to be countered by increased levels of high visibility policing as well as prioritization and escalation of new measures to counter knife crime.
“These measures must follow the Scottish model which approached knife crime as much as a public health issue as a criminal justice matter. Early intervention schemes, employment, training opportunities, knife amnesties and youth diversion programmes are all key to this.
“This geographic breakdown of seizures brings home the true severity of our problem with knives in this country. We cannot wait any longer for action.”