'In-your-face' policing plan for Temple Bar
A ROUND-THE-CLOCK police presence has been proposed for Temple Bar to combat anti-social behaviour in the tourist hot spot.
Lord Mayor Christy Burke held a meeting yesterday with Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey in the Mansion House, where the idea of so-called static policing - where there is a 24-hour garda presence in a designated area - was tabled.
A video emerged last month of a woman allegedly injecting herself with drugs in broad daylight in Temple Bar while needles were distributed by people in a group beside her.
"There are grave concerns from business people that the anti-social behaviour there is bad for the local economy," Mr Burke said.
"I proposed a static police force in Temple Bar to John Twomey.
"He said he would address the anti-social behaviour there immediately."
In yesterday's meeting, the Lord Mayor described the Assistant Garda Commissioner as being "concerned" by the issue.
"Lots of businesses have approached me about what is going on in Temple Bar," he said. "It attracts lots of tourists, so it needs to be kept safe."
The sentiment from business owners is that street drinking and drug-taking in the area are discouraging tourists from spending time there.
"The anti-social behaviour is having a negative effect on businesses and that's the long and the short of it," Mr Burke added.
Also involved in the initiative to make Temple Bar safer is former Fianna Fail minister Noel Dempsey, who is chairman of a group of businesses and organisations operating in the district.
Mr Dempsey was appointed chairman of the Temple Bar Company (TBC) last April. Representatives met Mr Burke six weeks ago to discuss policing in the city.
The mission of the group is to ensure that the area is kept clean, safe and attractive for anyone who visits, works or lives in the area.
While the outcome of yesterday's meeting is unclear, a senior source told the Herald that an "in-your-face police presence" will be introduced to Temple Bar's streets as soon as possible.
The news comes after the shocking video showing footage of people exchanging needles in Temple Bar was posted on YouTube at the beginning of last month, which caused widespread outrage.
Earlier this year, a Dublin man was left in a coma after he was viciously assaulted while walking in Temple Bar.