On Friday I was elected as Chairperson of the Fingal Joint Policing Committee at its first meeting.
I’m delighted that my colleagues in Fingal County Council have supported me for this important role. Every resident in Fingal should feel safe within their own community. Right now, this isn’t always the case. I’m looking forward to using my position as Chairperson to drive the development of the JPC Six-Year Strategic Plan, outlining how Fingal County Council and the local Garda Stations can work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
As a member of the previous Fingal JPC (2014-19), I was successful in getting statistics on domestic violence incidents reported upon at each of our meetings. I want to see the focus on this issue continue in this new term, along with a focus on preventing drug-related crime.
The JPC gives councillors the opportunity to question the Gardai on the operations that they are undertaking locally and highlight particular issues that we become aware of. It’s really important that the Gardai are held accountable in this way to the communities that they serve.
The Fingal Joint Policing Committee is made up of county councillors, Oireachtas members, the Gardai, and statutory bodies like the North Dublin Drugs Task Force and Safer Blanchardstown along with community representatives from the Public Participation Network (PPN). It allows questions to be put to the Gardai on a range of issues and the exchange of information about the various strategies that are being undertaken locally to tackle different offences. The Gardai are represented at meetings by Chief Superintendents and Superintendents. Meetings of the JPC take place four times a year, alternating between Swords and Blanchardstown. Four public meetings are also held in April each year across Fingal, where members of the public are invited to come and discuss issues related to crime and public safety in their own area.