[Sinn Fein]

26th February 2002

Combat Youth Alienation To Address Increase in Crime - Wood

Speaking at a meeting of the Sinn Fèin Cumann in Castlebar Sinn Fein Mayo election candidate Vincent Wood said ``It will take more than extra Gardaí and CCTV to effectively address the growing crime figures here in Mayo.''

Mr. Wood said:

``Much of the vandalism and petty crime in towns like Castlebar is, by all accounts, attributable to young people, and while extra Gardaí on the street would undoubtedly act as a deterrent, it would be wrong of us in this generation of political and civic leadership not to address wider issues of youth alienation.

``We must do more to combat underage drinking and the drug culture, both of which are factors in criminal activity of one kind or another. A ban on drinks advertising, an open public forum on the growing drugs problem in our towns and villages and increased spending on recreational facilities for young people are amongst the ideas that we could all collectively work on.

``There is an old saying that prevention is better than cure. We cannot solve the growing crime rate overnight, but we can start to address the causes in tandem with proposed measures for additional resources for the Gardaí. `` Said Vincent Wood.

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