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Saturday 1 October 2016

Mini-Cab won't help defeat criminal gangs, warns city councillor

Gary Gannon wants an EU-wide initiative Picture: Steve Humphreys
Gary Gannon wants an EU-wide initiative Picture: Steve Humphreys

A mini-Criminal Assets Bureau is not the way to solve problems in the north inner city, according to a city councillor.

As revealed by the Government last month, a mini-Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) is to be set up in an attempt to quash gangland crime in Dublin.

However, Social Democrat councillor Gary Gannon believes this will not solve the area's many problems.

Feud

"We know that there is an international context to this particular feud - and yet the conversation is still about a mini-Cab.

"Why are we not talking about a mega-Cab that can have an extended reach throughout the EU?" he asked.

"I've been talking to the community groups who deal with family members of people who are involved in drugs and there is a fear about a mini-Cab.

"Most of the drug-dealing that happens in this community is not done by people who are earning particularly large amounts of money.

"You're talking about young men who are in drug debts who are being told they have to mule drugs across the city to cover the costs of the drugs they are already using."

Mr Gannon said that the sums of money involved were very low, "less than €500 a month on most cases".

The draft powers for this mini-Cab could see the threshold for cash seizures reduced from €6,500 to €1,000.

Yesterday, public expenditure minister Paschal Donohoe said an inner-city task force would be "part of wider efforts to end gangland crime".

"In the coming weeks we'll be outlining how we plan to hit back at the incentives that lure young people into crime."

Agreeing that it was not enough to "break up the gangs", Mr Donohoe said there needed to be a focus on preventing crime, rather than just looking at its consequences.

His comments echo those of Cllr Gannon, who said that there was a "clear line between deprivation and criminality".

Drug

"Nobody fills out their CAO around here and puts down drug dealer. There isn't that choice. When you don't have exposure to education that's of a high standard and when you can't afford to do an internship for six months for free, choices are limited.

"Then people become desperate and start to make bad decisions.

"We need to find a way to give the next generation more access to opportunity," he said.

"I don't want to spend the next 20 years talking about stopping this feud or the next, I want to stop the level of poverty in the community," he added.

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