“Those landlords who have behaved recklessly and put two fingers up to a community — we can tell you now that your fingers will be taken off you,” said Chris O’Leary.
He was speaking after members of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) adopted a new six-year strategic plan. The document sets out specific priorities on crime prevention, anti-social behaviour and street crime, misuse of drugs and related crime, and support for victims of crime, between now and 2021.
It plans to enhance the structure and representation on the JPC to include more community involvement. There are plans to foster better links with marginalised groups, and to invite students to JPC meetings.
There are also plans to establish standardised procedures for local community safety fora to report, assess, and refer issues from grassroots level right up through the JPC structure, until they are addressed or resolved.
But the plan contains several proposals designed to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Landlords flouting their responsibilities have been discussed regularly at the city JPC following repeated problems with drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour linked to student-rented accommodation in residential areas around University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology.
Students’ unions and authorities in both colleges have taken steps to address the problems.
But Mr O’Leary said members of the JPC have now agreed to a united crackdown on these rogue landlords, with warnings that those who fail to tackle their tenants will face a range of sanctions, up to and including legal action.
“We will be jointly involved — the city council, the gardaí, and the HSE,” he said. “There will be increased liaison between the colleges and the residents. There will be a structure in place to bring interested bodies together to solve the problems.
“And for those landlords who fail to respond, it will lead to us taking action, and greater action than before.”
He said the new approach would show residents the various agencies are standing with them.
The strategic plan also sets out to promote effective estate management in a bid to eliminate anti-social hotspots, and increase street lighting in certain areas.
Fianna Fáil’s Seán Martin welcomed the document but said it must be backed up with dedicated funding.