Civic leaders respond to street crime protest

‘All crimes are fully investigated’

City & County Mayor James Tobin, who is one of 10 signatories on the unprecedented statement released in the wake of the Manor Street/Railway Square protest of October 25th and 26th.

City & County Mayor James Tobin, who is one of 10 signatories on the unprecedented statement released in the wake of the Manor Street/Railway Square protest of October 25th and 26th.

Ten local civic leaders have moved to reassure people that Waterford is a ‘safe and welcoming city’, with the lowest rate of recorded crime of any comparably-sized urban centre in the country.
They were say Waterford’s national reputation has been damaged by protests on the nights of October 25th and 26th, which generated intense media coverage and commentary that suggested, the statement said, that the city has a “particularly widespread problem of street crime and anti-social behaviour”.
“This is especially disappointing as economic recovery begins to take hold locally and Waterford is promoted with growing success as a destination for investors and visitors alike”, the statement continued.
The group, made up of politicians, local authority chief and senior Gardaí, issued a joint statement last Friday which cited a drop in reported crimes against the person in Waterford by 18% so far this year and a detection rate of 59%
“Over the last two years, reported crimes against the person and public disorder in Waterford city centre continued to decline,” the statement read.
“All reported crimes are fully investigated, with a detection rate in Waterford of 75% for violent crime – well ahead of the national average.”
The joint statement was signed by Cllr James Tobin (Mayor of Waterford City & County); Cllr Lola O’Sullivan (Mayor of Waterford Metropolitan District) and Waterford’s Oireachtas members – Minister of State Paudie Coffey, Ciara Conway TD; Senator David Cullinane; Senator Maurice Cummins; John Deasy TD and John Halligan TD, as well as Michael Walsh (CEO, Waterford City & County Council) and Chief Superintendent Pat Murphy, An Garda Síochána, Waterford.
“An Garda Síochána work with communities to protect the quality-of-life in Waterford with the prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour among their core functions,” the statement continued.
“They continually prosecute offenders in court where convictions may result in custodial sentences.”
The group said there will no tolerance for people who take the law into their own hands or target any particular group who they allege are involved in wrongdoing.
“Aside from the risk of harm being done and crimes being committed, there is also a real danger of prejudicing future prosecutions. Gardaí must continue to be supported by all to do their work in policing Waterford fairly, effectively and transparently.
“Without fear or favour, they will continue to work hard at preventing and investigating all types of crime, including racial discrimination.”
Meanwhile a small protest orgainsed via social media took place outside the Garda Station in Ballybricken on Sunday night to raise objections to the force’s handling of street crime in Waterford.
A Garda spokesperson said around 10 people gathered across the road from the station at around 6pm but they dispersed a short time later.

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