What responsibility does the South Dublin County Council have in addressing anti-social behaviour?

What responsibility does the South Dublin County Council have in addressing anti-social behaviour?

By Mary Dennehy

WHAT responsibility does South Dublin County Council have in addressing anti-social behaviour across local authority estates?

The council defines anti-social behaviour as any type of “unacceptable behaviour that prevents people from enjoying a safe and peaceful existence” in their home or community.

SDCC County Buildings 18022017

According to the local authority, it includes any breach of the Tenancy Agreement by a tenant, with anti-social behaviour defined under three categories – drug activity; non-related criminal activity such as joyriding, violence, harassment, intimidation, racism or vandalism; and other, such as noise, disturbance or physical condition of the property.

Anybody who is a victim of anti-social behaviour can report it to the council, with 759 incidents reported to South Dublin County Council in 2016 – and 46 warnings issued.

Already this year there has been 154 incidents reported and 25 warnings issued – which notify tenants that they are at risk of losing their house if their behaviour does not change.

However, as incidents of open drug-dealing in communities and reports of joyriding, harassment and intimidation are on the increase, should the council be doing more?

The council has, for example, in the first four months of this year removed 123 abandoned and burnt-out cars from communities, but should the local authority be working to identify those responsible and issuing warning notices under the Tenancy Agreement?

Hugh Hogan, Senior Executive Officer in the council’s housing provision, told The Echo: “We do get a lot of complaints.
“However, our hands are tied sometimes . . . we need facts and can’t act on hearsay.

“A lot of the time the complaints concern anti-social behaviour in an area, it’s not a complaint about an individual – which is very hard for us to act on.

“We will examine all complaints made to see if we can deal with them, but need people to provide us with information, we need statements.”

When asked about drug activity and open dealing, Mr Hogan said: “The bigger criminal issues are the responsibility of the gardai.

“If we have evidence in relation to these issues we will liaise with the gardai.”

Anybody who is a victim of anti-social behaviour can call Freephone 1800 200 245 or complete an anti-social incident report, which is available on www.sdcc.ie.