Almost 1,000 knives seized by Gardaí this year, new figures show

ireland
Almost 1,000 Knives Seized By Gardaí This Year, New Figures Show
Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said 1,057 people have been charged with knife crimes in 2021, in addition to 2,286 people in 2020. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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James Ward, PA

Following the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old man in Tallaght on Tuesday evening, Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond has called for the speedy introduction of a community led initiatives to tackle knife crime at source.

A total of 999 knives have been seized by Gardaí since the start of the year.

Mr Richmond has published figures showing that 44 per cent of knife seizures were among young people aged 12-23. He warned that parents and teachers are finding knives in school bags and lockers.

Similar programmes in Scotland have seen “homicides reduce by more than half”, the Dublin Rathdown TD said.

Mr Richmond said: “The death of a young man in Tallaght last night once again shows how knife crime continues to cast a tragic shadow across our streets and our communities, with 999 knives seized by Gardai so far this year alone.

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“1,057 people have been charged with knife crimes in 2021, this is on top of 2,286 people in 2020. The statistics show many knives are being seized from younger people. Between 2005-2019, 44 per cent of knife seizures were from those aged between 12-23.

“I have heard too many stories of parents, teachers and siblings finding a knife in someone’s school bag, under their bed or in their school locker.”

He added: “To tackle this, we need to expedite the plans to tackle knife crime at source.

“Programmes such as knife amnesties, mentorships, education programmes in schools, youth diversion services and youth training programmes have had huge success in Scotland where they saw homicides reduce by more than half.

Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond (Niall Carson/PA)

“By implementing these programmes, we can stop this crime before it happens, saving lives and transforming communities.

“While stronger sentences are important, these alone are not a sufficient deterrent and often by the time it gets that far it’s too late.

“Knife crime needs to be treated as a public health initiative as much as criminal justice matter, with the required support programmes provided in communities.”

Mr Richmond said funding for the programmes could come from a proposed Community Safety Innovation Fund, which would put cash seized from criminals into crime-stopping initiatives.

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More than €16 million in cash was seized from criminals in 2020.

He added: “We owe it to those affected by knife crime and organised crime to expedite the establishment of the Community Safety Innovation Fund and put it to use in tackling the growing scourge of knife crime.”

 

His call comes after a 25-year-old man was killed and another in his 40s was taken to hospital with his injuries following a stabbing incident in the Mac Uilliam Road area of Tallaght on Tuesday night.

The state pathologist has been notified and a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on the victim on Wednesday.

Gardaí have appealed to any witnesses to come forward.

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