Home > Local community safety partnership pilot: interim evaluation report.

McGrath, K and Eustace, A and Radomska, A and Connolly, J (2023) Local community safety partnership pilot: interim evaluation report. Dublin: Centre for Effective Services.

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The Local Community Safety Partnership (LCSP) is a whole of government initiative that commenced in early 2021 led by the Department of Justice. The LCSP is currently being piloted in three locations in Ireland over a two-year period. The pilot is a key action under Goal 3 of the Department of Justice strategy for A Safe, Fair and Inclusive Ireland, 2021-2023 (Department of Justice, 2021a). The policy intention is that the LCSPs meet one of the key recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing (CoFPI) in Ireland’s report, namely that community safety is not solely the responsibility of An Garda Síochána (AGS) or the Department of Justice (Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, 2018). This fits with the vision for community safety as a whole of Government responsibility. The partnership approach to community safety aims to reduce the level of crime, to target resources more effectively in preventing crime and finding solutions, and to enhance feelings and experiences of community safety, locally and nationally.

The LCSPs will replace and build upon the existing Joint Policing Committees (JPCs). They will provide a forum for state agencies and local community representatives to work together to act on community concerns (Department of Justice, 2021b). The LCSPs seek to build on the good work of the JPCs, through the evolution and expansion of that structure. The intention is that LCSPs will bring a broader focus to community safety issues, of which policing is but one factor, to enable communities to be safe and feel safe. The LCSP pilot is designed to run until the end of 2023. The pilot is being accompanied by an independent formative evaluation purposefully designed to capture the learning arising from the pilot. This learning will inform the rollout of LCSPs in local authority areas across Ireland and further develop the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill, (2022). This Bill, currently in draft form, states that a national strategy for community safety will be prepared, and a national community safety steering group and a national office for community safety will be established. The proposed legislation will place an obligation on relevant departments, state agencies and local authorities to cooperate with AGS in delivering community safety. Once finalised the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill will place the LCSPs on a statutory footing.

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