Residents’ concerns about bikes and burnt-out bins

By Aideen O'Flaherty

KILNAMANAGH Neighbour-hood Watch held a well-attended public meeting in St Kevin’s Resource Centre on Monday evening, where topics such as drug use and scrambler bikes were discussed, and residents were also encouraged to report any criminal matters – no matter how small they may seem.

The Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force gave a short presentation at the meeting, which then led to a discussion about the impact that drug use has on families.

Kilnamanagh binIMG 3934 1

A burnt out wheelie bin in Kilnamanagh

A garda sergeant and a local community garda were also at the meeting, as were a number of councillors and local election candidates.

The under-reporting of crimes was covered at the meeting, as residents had voiced concerns about wheelie bins being stolen and burnt out – the gardai had received no reports about this.

A member of Kilnamanagh Neighbourhood Watch, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Echo: “Having the gardai there is an important part of the meeting, because they can give us a rough idea of crime statistics in the area.

“People do like to hear what’s happening, in so much as the guards can tell us, but the guards did emphasise the fact that not all crimes are reported.

“People at the meeting were commenting about the amount of wheelie bins that were being burnt out in the area, but the guards had nothing on record, which shows that people think that it’s too small a thing to report.

“We’re encouraging people to report anything, even if they think it’s stupid or silly, and to let the guards decide if it is.”

It was also highlighted at the meeting that when people report incidents to the gardai they can do so anonymously.

Another key topic that was covered centred on scrambler bikes, with many residents being concerned about them allegedly being used for criminal activity, and the difficulty of gardai in tackling this issue as current legislation doesn’t address the issue.

The Kilnamanagh Neighbour-hood Watch member added: “People have seen these scrambler bikes. It’s crazy that the guards can’t chase these guys and catch them – it’s a gap in the law.

“We have written to all of our TDs in relation to stuff like this.”

Fianna Fáil attempted to pass a bill earlier this month to increase powers for gardai in relation to scrambler bikes, but the plans were rejected by government ministers.

Sinn Féin had also previously tried to pass legislation to deal with the issue, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Other topics which were covered at the meeting included safety concerns about walking through a laneway from the Luas stop after dark, stories that have circulated on social media about the alleged attempted abductions of children in the area, and drug dealing.

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