Thursday 27 October 2016

One-in-four are too afraid to shop in city over open drug use


Man shooting up in Audeon's Park
Man shooting up in Audeon's Park

More than a quarter of people are afraid to shop in Dublin City Centre due to open drug use and anti-social behaviour.

Chief executive of Dublin Town, Richard Guiney, said that a recent survey conducted by the organisation asking people why they choose not to shop in Dublin shows that 27pc avoided the capital "out of a perceived fear".

The general reasons given on the survey, which involved over 1,000 people, included aggressive begging, open drug taking and general anti-social behaviour.

However, Mr Guiney stated that the figure was down in recent years, and he hopes the "perception of the city not being safe" will slowly change.

The figure previously stood at 36pc in 2012, with the head of Dublin Town adding that it was the first time anti-social behaviour was not the main reason shoppers were avoiding the capital.

Almost half of those surveyed cited transport, car-parking and access as the main reason for avoiding the city.

"It's encouraging to see that the figure has dropped, and hopefully people's perceptions will continue to improve and people will realise that the city is in fact a safe place," Mr Guiney said.

Deputy chief executive of Dublin City Council, Brendan Kenny, echoed Richard Guiney's comments, saying that "the city isn't unsafe".


"The problem hasn't become worse, it is just far more visible. Unfortunately you have more chaotic people creating a negative perception that the city is unsafe, but the city isn't unsafe and the crime statistics will show that," Mr Kenney said.

"The problem is not just a criminal justice issue either, you can't just expect the gardai to take drug addicts off the streets. Those people are still citizens of the country," he told the Herald.

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