Monday, April 13, 2009

BALBRIGGAN - Sinn Féin Community Survey Results

Sinn Féin Community Survey Results

Last month, Sinn Féin members and supporters carried out a door-to-door survey in Balbriggan West around the issue of Safer Communities. One hundred houses were surveyed and Sinn Féin Local election candidate Fergus Byrne described the results as an eye opener for local residents, and a huge task for An Garda Síochána regarding community confidence, anti-social behaviour and drug related problems

The survey consisted of seven questions, the first being "Do you feel safer or less safe now in your local area compared to a year ago"?

The results were as follows.
More Safe: 18%
Less Safe: 34%
Other: 32%

Question 2 was "Are there any spaces in your local area that you are reluctant to use because of antisocial behaviour or drugs"?

The results were as follows.
Castlemill Shopping Centre 40%
Back lanes (Castlemills) 16%
Playground (Barons Hall) 8%
Other Places 36%

Question 3 was "What types of behaviour is a serious problem in the above places"?

The results were as follows.
Threatening or behaviour 11%
People using drugs 14%
People dealing drugs 19%
Discarded needles or syringes 1%
People being drunk or rowdy 18%
Verbal abuse 20%
Other (please specify) 17%

Question 4 was "Are there any particular times, days or periods when you feel it most occurs"?
The results were as follows.

Daytime 2%
Night-Time 52%
Weekend 40%
Other 6%

Question 5 was "Have you contacted the Gardaí in relation to anti-social behaviour"?

The results were as follows.
Yes 38%
No 62%

Question 6 was "How would you describe the Gardaí response"?

The results were as follows.
Satisfactory 61%
Unsatisfactory 39%

Question 7A was "Do you think there are enough leisure, recreation and educational opportunities for young people in the local area"?

The results were as follows.
Yes 4%
No 96%

Question 7B was "What facilities should be made available to them"?
The results were as follows.

Youth Club 38%
Swimming Pool 19%
Supervised Play Area 19%
Sport Field 6%
Gym 4%
Other 14%

From the information we have gathered, a very clear picture is painted of the area regarding anti-social behaviour, youth, An Garda Síochána, and lack of facilities in the area.

In general, 34% of people in Balbriggan West feel less safe in their homes compared to last year. This figure is quite concerning as most families in this area would only be living in the area for 2-3 years, and it really highlights the urgency of the situation these families find themselves in.
The area most affected by anti-social behaviour and drugs seems to be the Castlemill Shopping Centre (40%), with most of the behaviour happening at night (52%), and weekend (40%). The behaviour involved verbal abuse (20%), drug dealing (19%) and drunken behavior (18%). I think this highlights the need for more community Gardaí and for looking into the possibility of An Garda Síochána having a permanent presence in the area - i.e., a small station or at least more security cameras linked to the Balbriggan Garda Station. I will discuss this with An Garda Síochána in the coming weeks.

We can also see from the Survey that only 38% of victims of this behaviour contacted An Garda Síochána. Interestingly, of those who contacted the Guards, 61% were satisfied with the response they got. Given these results I would encourage people to report all of this type of behaviour to An Garda Síochána. I would also call on the Government to review the resources An Garda Síochána have available to them.

The last two questions of this survey expose the bad planning of the Balbriggan West area. You only have to ask yourself where the Youth Centres, Cinemas, Swimming Pools, Parks, Playing fields, Gyms etc. are. ENDS

Fergus Byrne
Local Sinn Féin Candidate – Balbriggan Ward

No comments:

Post a Comment