Community Safety Oversight in Ireland

In September 2018, the Republic of Ireland Commission on the Future of Policing recommended the establishment of a new Policing and Community Safety Oversight Commission to supersede the Policing Authority and the Garda Inspectorate.

A core function of the new body would be to promote inter-agency working and scrutinise the role of all agencies as they affect policing and Community Safety. This recommendation forms part of a Government programme of policing reform, which was approved in December 2018.

But what is Community Safety and how could it be enhanced by oversight?

While it is widely accepted that Community Safety goes beyond a focus on crime and crime prevention, there are differing views regarding the structures, membership and agencies that might be involved, as well as the nature of their oversight, funding and governance.

As the Policing and Community Safety Bill is being prepared, the Policing Authority gathered together key experts to discuss these and other questions relating to Community Safety.

The speakers at the event were:

  • Dr Johnny Connolly, Member of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and research fellow in the UL School of Law;
  • Ms Susannah Hancock, Chief Executive of the Association of Policing and Crime Commissioners UK;
  • Ms Rita Fagan, Director of the Family Resource Centre in St Michael’s Estate, Inchicore;
  • Professor Duncan Morrow, Professor in Politics and Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University.

The Scottish Community Safety Network were asked to contribute to the event and to a further discussion with An Garda Siochana; ROI Policing Authority and the department of the Taoiseach.

The film of the event is here

SCSN were able to talk about Community Safety Partnerships in Scotland; local governance arrangements; LOIPS; the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2014; Participatory Budgeting and Principles for Community Empowerment.

We have agreed to continue a dialogue and support this development as it progresses.  As ever, we will keep our members and stakeholders informed.

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