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Home > 389. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if community policing fora have been established in each local drug task force area; if not, when it will happen. [23464/05]

[Oireachtas] 389. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if community policing fora have been established in each local drug task force area; if not, when it will happen. [23464/05]. (29 Jun 2005)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2005/06/29/00277...


Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Two community policing fora have already been established in the context of the national drugs strategy. These are operating on a pilot basis under the aegis of the north inner city and Finglas-Cabra local drugs task forces. My position on this matter is that the establishment of community policing fora in general needs to be delivered in the context of an appropriate policy framework for what will be relatively new partnership structures involving the Garda, local authorities and local communities to deal with a range of issues of mutual concern. Such a framework will ensure that community policing fora are developed in an appropriate, consistent and properly planned manner. Work is well under way on the development of such a policy framework. The Garda Síochána Bill 2004 represents the most significant legislative reform of Garda structures since the foundation of the State. Included in its provisions are mechanisms for enhanced co-operation between the Garda and local authorities through the establishment, on a statutory basis, of joint policing committees. It is intended that such committees will provide a forum where the Garda Síochána, local authorities and other appropriate bodies can co-operate and work together to address local policing and other issues. It is also intended that these policing committees will facilitate the establishment of local policing fora to address specific issues in local areas, including drugs issues. The further development of community policing fora in each local drug task force area will be considered in this context. On 12 May last I announced the establishment of an implementation advisory group, under the chairmanship of Senator Maurice Hayes, in a move to facilitate the timely implementation of the provisions of the Garda Síochána Bill. Its terms of reference include the development of guidelines to enable the establishment of joint policing committees and the group has been requested to report to me on progress not later than six months after the enactment of the Bill.

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