Vehicles set on fire pose a danger to property and lives, say residents

By Mary Dennehy

Recently three cars were set alight on Bawnlea Avenue in Jobstown, a regular occurrence which is not only impacting on residents’ quality of life but is acting as a beacon to younger kids – who, parents fear, will start to view this behaviour as “normal”.

Cars being dumped and burned out on Bawnlea Avenue happens on and off, but residents had enough last weekend when a car was driven onto the road at 3.30pm and set alight while children were playing.

Bawnlea burned out cars resized

Two days later on Sunday, two more cars were dangerously driven onto the road, which is a cul-de-sac, and burned out – with children as young as nine spotted standing around the flames.

One resident told The Echo: “Like a lot of estates we’ve had problems in the past with burned-out cars, but it’s getting really bad.

“These young people know that no action is ever taken against them, so why would they stop?

“They are dangerously driving through the estate in daylight when children and people are out and about, dumping the cars and setting them on fire.

“A car on fire in such close proximity to homes and people is not safe and it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.”

Bawnlea burned out cars 1 resized

The resident added: “We’ve seen kids as young as nine hanging out at the cars with older lads and we’re concerned for other young kids in the area who are looking at this.

“What are they learning? It will only take time before this behaviour becomes normal to them.

“We shouldn’t have to live with this and action needs to be taken by local Gardaí. We know they are doing their best, but sometimes it takes hours for them to respond to calls.

“South Dublin County Council has a responsibility here too, we have suggested the introduction of ramps.”

When contacted by The Echo, Superintendent Peter Duff said: “We do have community policing in the area, however, if these lads know there’s a patrol car in one area, they simply drive into another area.”

“There’s currently not a spike in this type of activity but there is no decrease, it’s a constant and an ongoing issue.

“These lads are buying bangers for €50 and €60 and we’re actively out there seizing cars for no tax and insurance and other traffic offences – and we have a number of young people in the juvenile justice system.

“Our main concern is to stop dangerous driving and to protect both the lives of these young people and others. 

“Once they come under our radar we also try to divert these young people away from this type of behaviour and get them involved in different diversion programmes.”

When asked about response times, Supt Duff said: “We know it is frustrating for residents when they are waiting for us to arrive but the demand for policing services varies throughout the day and we sometimes have to prioritise calls.

“We would encourage people to keep in contact with us and report any issues with cars in their estate.” 

A comment from South Dublin County Council, who removed the burned vehicles, was not received in time for print.

Contact Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.

 

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