Tuesday, 25 March 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
528. Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans to introduce legislation to deal with anti-social behaviour in private housing estates; if his attention has been drawn to the concern which exists in communities in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8375/03]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): I am informed by the Garda authorities that existing statutory provisions are adequate to deal with incidents of this nature. In addition to the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, numerous statutes contain provisions dealing with behaviour associated with public disorder, such as the Criminal Damage Act 1991; Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990; and Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Children Act 2001 gives the courts power to impose a curfew on persons under 18 years of age. The order can confine a child to a particular residence at specified times between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day or order the child to stay away from any specified premises, place or locality during specified times. The new public order legislation which is currently going through the Oireachtas will greatly enhance the power of the Garda to deal with anti-social behaviour. If a need is identified at any stage to amend the law to deal with any particular crime problem, I will not hesitate to bring forward proposals for such reform.
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