Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Disability, Martin Conway, has proposed the nationwide extension of the Small Areas Policing Programme currently operated by An Garda Síochána in Dublin.
The Small Areas Policing Programme aims to put gardaí back in touch with the communities they serve by building relationships with local people, instead of just responding to crime after it happens. It currently operates in Dublin with great success since its inception five years ago.
“I believe that this ‘back to basics’ programme, which reconnects the gardaí with the communities they serve represents a welcome return to the core essence of policing-community engagement. It represents an adherence to the fundamental mission of An Garda Síochána, which is to work with communities to protect and serve.
In the course of an Adjournment Debate on this matter in the Seanad Senator Conway asked the Minister to consider the expansion of this programme to cover the whole country in particular to urban areas which have seen rapid population growth in recent years.
“The Minister is very supportive of this initiative but said much has to be done prior to extending the programme to other areas. However, I will continue to pursue this matter with the Minister to enhance community engagement with An Garda Síochana to help reduce rates of crime.”