Youth diversion programme on Joint Policing Committee agenda
A YOUTH diversion programme introduced in Limerick to deter the use of scramblers in public places will this week be discussed at a South Dublin County policing meeting.
Local gardai have invited gardai from Limerick to share the details of a successful youth diversion programme introduced in Moyross at this Friday’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting.
Local TD John Lahart confirmed the presentation from Limerick gardai, following an incident in Sean Walsh Park on Good Friday, which saw a three-year-old girl hospitalised after being knocked down by a scrambler.
Holly Lewis, who has since been discharged from hospital, was with her mother Sarah, grandmother and two-month-old brother when the incident happened in the busy park at around 2.30pm.
Deputy Lahart this week expressed frustration that legislation brought forward in relation to scramblers is not yet in place.
These laws would make it an offence to ride scramblers through public parks and give gardai the powers to confiscate, the Fianna Fáil deputy said.
He believes that gardai need the power to confiscate scramblers from those “who use them in a manner that endangers the public”.
“I introduced a Bill three years ago – it has been accepted by government, it is going through the Dáil and right now is in the Oireachtas Transport Committee,” Deputy Lahart said.
He added: “I raised the issue of scramblers recently with the [DMR South] Chief Superintendent and the [Tallaght] Superintendent.
“I know that successful youth diversion projects have also been introduced in Moyross in Limerick – deterring the use of scramblers – and these have been successful.
“The gardai have invited gardai from Limerick to address the [South Dublin County Council] Joint Policing Committee on Friday this week to outline how the scheme works – and I welcome that also.”
Local TD Seán Crowe, who has also been raising the issue of scramblers both locally and nationally, reiterated Deputy Lahart’s calls for legislation.
“Our parks and green spaces should be inclusive, safe spaces, there for the enjoyment of adults and children of all ages,” Deputy Crowe (SF) said.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case and incidents involving scrambler and quad bikes are being reported on a daily basis across the country.
“This latest incident happened in Tallaght, but it could have happened anywhere and highlights once again the need for workable legislation that will remove these dangerous machines from our communities.
“Children, parents, and adults should feel safe in our public spaces or walking through their neighbourhoods and that is not the case in many parts of my constituency.
“I am appealing to the Garda authorities to do more to tackle these scrambler bikes following this incident and calling on the government to wake up and fast track legislation that will remove these bikes from local communities.”
The local JPC includes councillors and TDs, South Dublin County Council staff, local gardai and community representatives from groups and organisations.