Dáil Éireann - Volume 398 - 02 May, 1990
Written Answers. - Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.
Mr. Cosgrave Mr. Cosgrave
96. Mr. Cosgrave asked the Minister for Justice the reviews which have taken place regarding the neighbourhood watch schemes in order to reduce house robberies and safeguard residents; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Burke) Raphael P. Burke
Minister for Justice (Mr. Burke): I am informed by the Garda Authorities that neighbourhood watch schemes are reviewed from time to time by those involved in individual schemes. The clear indications are that the schemes are effective and worthy of continued community support. In fact, the support for the schemes is evidenced by the growth of neighbourhood watch in this country — there are now 909 schemes involving some 180,000 households throughout the country.
It is not of course possible to attribute, with certainty, a change in the level of criminal activity to any particular measure such as neighbourhood watch. However, the Garda authorities consider that neighbourhood watch is playing a significant role in tackling crime, particularly residential burglaries which provisional figures for 1989 indicate have dropped by over 17 per cent since 1984.
However, it is important to make the point that the benefits of neighbourhood watch cannot be judged by statistics alone. The Garda authorities are satisfied that neighbourhood watch has been particularly successful in involving the community in crime prevention, in enhancing relations between the Garda and the community they serve and in promoting a greater sense of security especially among the more vulnerable members of our society.
Dáil Éireann 398 Written Answers. Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.