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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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Drumcondra locals raise fears about crime rate after woman stabbed

Recent muggings, break-ins and vandalism in the area have residents concerned.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated, 9.15am

ON TUESDAY EVENING, a young woman walking home from work in a Dublin area was mugged, then stabbed multiple times – including in the neck.

An on-duty garda found her slumped against a wall after the attack which occurred before 6pm on what is a well-trodden pathway in Drumcondra.

Last night, a woman in her 30s was arrested in connection with the incident, and is being detained at Mountjoy Garda Station

Although the violent stabbing relatively early in the evening is unusual, locals fear that there has been an increase in ‘casual’ or petty crime in Drumcondra.

John Fitzgerald of the local Arts and Business Centre explains that the increase has made locals anxious to do something about it, saying “we can’t just sit here and wait”.

He thinks that the rise is due to the pooling of garda resources elsewhere because of gangland crime, and that crime is “over spilling” into their area as a result.

Local councillor and TD Noel Rock, who lives in and represents Drumcondra, told TheJournal.ie that the 500-metre stretch of road between a line of pubs and the Canal has become a hotspot for break-ins, broken car windows, muggings and ATM robberies.

04/01/2017. Crime Scene Drumcondra. Gardai are inv Source: SAM BOAL

He recalls that one café was broken into three times over the course of a month.

Although some locals blame the increase on the closure of the Whitehall Garda Station, Rock says that it’s not the issue, as Mountjoy Garda Station has always served the Drumcondra area.

But it does ‘fall between two stools’ because it’s on the border between two garda districts, and because of this he says the area is likely to be patrolled less often – a feature of all communities on the border between garda districts.

The worry of gardaí missing from their patrols is also felt by residents in other towns. In Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, locals set up a ‘Feet on the Beat’ campaign, to encourage gardaí to patrol the area in the hope that it will stop petty crime.

04/01/2017. Crime Scene Drumcondra. Gardai are inv Source: Sam Boal

Rock also says use of garda resources could be more effective:

When people graduate from Templemore, I feel as though there’s more pressing need on the north side of the city than frankly anywhere else in the country.
[I feel as though the north of Dublin] is stretched in terms of garda resources; more gardaí need to be deployed on the streets.

Fine Gael Councillor Norma Sammon, whose electoral area is Ballymun but lives in Drumcondra, suggested in a press release that better lighting along the pathways in Drumcondra is needed to help people feel safer, as “lighting in that stretch of road is particularly poor”.

Rock remembers that when he used to walk home from Leinster House to Drumcondra, he would cross the road to the other side because of the bad lighting outside the Archbishop’s Palace.

Rock says that he made the same suggestion as Sammon two years ago to the council, but the real issue is garda resources and making residents feel safe again.

“The fear of crime is definitely on the rise. Mostly people feel as though crime is more violent than [it was before]. We need to react to these appropriately in terms of making people safe in their homes and communities.

“Step one from this is trying to find the person who did this. Following on from that, it’s about trying to prevent future [crimes from] happening.”

If you witnessed Tuesday night’s attack, or were in the vicinity of Drumcondra Road Lower between Clonliffe Road and the Archbishop’s House between 5pm and 5.30pm Tuesday, contact the incident room at Mountjoy Garda Station on 01-666 8600, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any garda station.

Read: Dublin woman on her way home stabbed in the neck by female mugger

Read: ‘Driving back and forth all day’: How a lack of access to Pulse affects everyday policing

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