US tourists visiting Dublin are being told to keep valuables safe, avoid walking alone after dark and “keep a low profile” so they don’t become victims of crime.
The US embassy in Dublin said in a statement on its website billed as a “security alert” that US nationals should exercise “good personal security practices while travelling” after “a number of recent incidents”.
All citizens should “be aware of their surroundings” and avoid having expensive items on show or carrying valuables in outer pockets on backpacks.
Urging people to “be vigilant”, the statement warns them that “pickpocketing, mugging, and ‘snatch and grab’ theft of mobile phones, watches and jewellery can occur. Keep a low profile”.
Stephen Termini, a US tourist in his 50s, was injured in an attack on Talbot Street in Dublin last week while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met and apologised to Ukrainian actor Oleksandr Hrekov after he needed stitches following an assault.
Irish minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman said “significant assaults” in parts of Dublin will worry both tourists and locals, but said community work is ongoing to address anti-social behaviour.
Addressing calls for more officers on Dublin’s streets, Mr O’Gorman said the government’s approach included youth support and youth diversion projects as well as an increased police presence.
He told RTE Radio there had been “some very significant assaults in an area of our inner city and I’ve no doubt that causes real concern to people travelling through those parts of the city, but most importantly to the communities living there”.
This week, Mr Varadkar said this year’s target of recruiting 1,000 new police officers would be a challenge, but there was a need to be “tough on public order offences”.
He said people are being “attacked all the time” on Irish streets, which is “not something we can accept”.