Dublin's most senior Garda has denied that criminal gangs have created "no-go" areas for officers.
A new report has warned young children are being recruited into the drugs trade.
This report has looked at the prevalence of criminal networks in areas of the south-west inner city and Dublin 12.
The top players are said to be rarely directly connected with criminal activity, while 'middle-men' - said to be mostly young men who often use drugs themselves - work the streets and carry out jobs.
The report found children as young as 10 or 11 - many of whom are still in primary school - are groomed by the gangs to be runners and carriers.
There are also concerns that residents in some of the worst affected areas are too scared to leave their homes because of the violence.
The report also shows some criminal gangs are trying to create "no-go areas" for Gardai.
All of those involved in the study say a new model for tackling anti-social behaviour in the city is needed.
Author of the research, Dr Johnny Connolly, said the actions of a few people have a large impact on the entire community.
He explained: "People are not willing to report... they're not willing to engage.
"Less than 2% of the population aged from 12 to 40 are engaged in these networks, so it is not a huge figure.