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Connolly, Johnny (2006) Guidelines on joint policing committees. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 19, Autumn 2006, p. 9.

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Guidelines setting out the functions, composition and operation of joint policing committees (JPCs), established under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, were published in June.1 The guidelines were prepared by the Minister for Justice in consultation with the Minister for the Environment and, following a recommendation by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights, with Mr Noel Ahern, Minister of State with responsibility for drugs strategy.2

JPCs, which are to be established in each of the 114 local authority administrative areas throughout the State, will bring together representatives from the local authority, gardaí, public representatives and representatives of the community and voluntary sector to discuss and make recommendations on matters affecting the policing of the area. The guidelines propose the establishment of pilot JPCs in the following areas: Fingal, Offaly and Wicklow County Councils; Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford City Councils; Drogheda and Sligo Borough Councils; Athy, Arklow, Ballinasloe, Birr, Bray, Edenderry, Greystones, Leterkenny, Mallow, Tralee, Tuam, Tullamore and Wicklow Town Councils. In Dublin city, five sub-committees corresponding to the operational areas of the City Council will also be established.

From January 2007 an evaluation of the pilot phase will begin. After mid 2007, JPCs will be established in all local authorities until the next local elections in 2009. The guidelines also make provision to ensure that Garda representation on the JPCs is of appropriate rank and seniority, and highlight the importance of ensuring gender equality on the JPCs. The primary functions of the JPCs are to serve as a forum for consultation, discussion and recommendations on local policing matters and to keep under review levels of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour, including the patterns and levels of misuse of alcohol and drugs. The guidelines also cover such issues as the chairing of JPCs, the circumstances in which they can meet in public and in private and the procedures by which members of the public can raise issues of local concern. Section 36(2)(d) of the Act provides for the establishment of local policing fora by a JPC. Supplementary guidelines for local policing fora are to be drawn up at a later date. However, in light of Action 11 of the National Drugs Strategy, the guidelines stipulate that ‘priority will be given to establishing local policing fora in all Local Drugs Task Force areas and other areas experiencing problems of drug misuse’ (p.16). 

1.    Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (2006) Garda Síochána Act 2005: Joint Policing Committee Guidelines. Dublin: Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

2.    Drugnet Ireland, Issue 15, Autumn 2005.

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Guideline, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 19, Autumn 2006
Date
July 2006
Page Range
p. 9
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 19, Autumn 2006
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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