10 October 2014

Minister Fitzgerald issues new Joint Policing Committee rules

Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and Equality this week issued revised guidelines for local Joint Policing Committees in order to “support policing and enhance community safety”.

Working in collaboration with the Minister for the Environment Community and Local Government, Minister Fitzgerald said:

“The existing guidelines for the operation of Joint Policing Committees were issued in 2008 and heralded the establishment of these important partnership structures in all of the then existing local authority areas, as provided in the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

“A review of the operation of the Committees commenced in 2012, to see if there were ways in which their operation could be enhanced and ensure that they were functioning as intended. The review process included a questionnaire to all existing members of Committees throughout the country and the production of a discussion document which helped to facilitate a public consultation process.

“The changes which are being made reflect feedback received during the review process as well as input received by the Department of Justice and Equality during the public consultations. The revision of the guidelines is particularly timely as it allows for the alignment of Joint Policing Committees with the new local government structures.

“Important changes include a requirement for Committees to develop six year and annual strategic plans, and an increase in the number of community representatives

“The need for a proper communications strategy to support interaction with local communities and effective and efficient coordination with other local structures is emphasised.

“The new Joint Policing Committee for South Dublin County will be set up according to these guidelines and will now have a membership of 31 made up as follows:

Local Authority Elected Members (15), Oireachtas Elected Members (5), Local Authority Officials (2), An Garda Síochána (2), Community (7)".