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Home » Tag Archives: Joint Policing Committee (JPC)

Tag Archives: Joint Policing Committee (JPC)

Shotguns by the bedside: Clare farmers express crime fears

FEARS have been expressed that farmers and dwellers in East and North Clare will be forced to take the law into their own hands in a scenario akin to the infamous Padraig Nally court case following a spate of rural crime. Councillor Pat Burke has revealed one farmer told him he has a “shotgun loaded at the head of the bed” at night to protect himself from any intruder, while former councillor Bill Slattery has warned there could be another Padraig Nally scenario involving North Clare farmers who are being “bullied and threatened”. In December, 2006, Padraig Nally was cleared of the manslaughter of John Ward by the Court of Criminal Appeal, which overturned an initial six-year sentence. Mr Nally, of Funshinagh Cross, Claremorris, shot the father of 11 at his farm on October 14, 2004. In court evidence, Mr Nally said he believed Mr Ward had been on his land to commit a burglary and confirmed he had been …

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Corruption probe ‘tearing lives apart’

A PROBE into the conduct of eight Gardai in the Midwest is “tearing many lives apart”, Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told this week. Deputy Cathal Crowe urged the Garda Commissioner, who attended the meeting on Monday (October 18), to engage more effectively on the issue. Deputy Crowe recently raised, in the Dail, the suspension last November of eight Gardaí, as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in public office in Munster. The investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) centres on claims that Gardaí did not pursue enquiries into alleged road traffic offences against a number of individuals. At this week’s JPC meeting, the Meelick TD repeated many of his criticisms of the handling of the investigation. In advance of the meeting, he had tabled a question for Commissioner Drew Harris, asking if the principle of discretion is still part of the training at the Garda College in Templemore. After the Commissioner explained that …

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Slow increase in Clare garda numbers alarming, says TD

AN INCREASE of just six in Garda numbers in Clare, over the past decade, has been described by Deputy Cathal Crowe as “alarming”. As Garda Commissioner Drew Harris addressed the Joint Policing Committee meeting this week, Deputy Crowe appealed to him to get more Gardai back onto the streets. The Fianna Fail member was among those to table formal questions to the Commissioner in advance of his visit to Clare. Both he and JPC chairperson, Councillor John Crowe raised the issue of Garda numbers in the county. The Meelick TD’s comments followed a response from the Commissioner in which he outlined changes to the size of the police force at national and divisional level. “There is a truly unique dynamic in Clare, in terms of policing,” Deputy Crowe said. “We are a rural county wedged between two cities. We have the largest urban centre that is not a city. We have an airport and a number of Direct Provision sites, …

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Commissioner apologises for service failure in Clare emergency calls

GARDA Commissioner Drew Harris has apologised after confirming that a total of 22 emergency calls in Clare did not receive an appropriate response in the period of 2019-2020. The vast majority of these calls related to domestic disturbances. At the meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week, the Commissioner reiterated an apology he made nationally after the Policing Authority found that 600 emergency calls nationally were cancelled and not correctly dealt with by the force. The JPC heard that a follow-up procedure was put in place to address the matter and that a new call classification system is being developed. However, Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, who raised a question with the commissioner about the matter, was critical of the missed opportunity to respond appropriately to the brave decision made by those experiencing domestic abuse to seek help. In response to a question from the Sinn Fein TD, which was submitted formally before the meeting, Commissioner Harris outlined that …

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Massive rise in drug supply offences

A HUGE increase in the detection of those selling and supplying drugs has been recorded in Clare over the course of 2020. Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told that there had been 115 such detections between January and December of last year, an increase of 39% on figures for 2019. Detections for possession of drugs was up by just over one-fifth, with 283 incidents last year. JPC member, Kilmurry-based Councillor Alan O’Callaghan described the increase in detections of both categories of crime, as positive. “If you think drugs aren’t a problem in every part of this county, then you’re oblivious,” he said. “The rate of drug use is simply shocking and it is good to see that the Gardaí are having more success in tackling the issue. The Gardaí have doubled the size of the drug squad over the last couple of years and it’s great to see that that’s now paying off.” The Fianna Fáil member also noted …

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22 cases referred since June to Divisional Protective Services Unit

TWENTY-TWO investigations have been referred to the new specialist Garda unit tasked with investigating sexual and domestic crime, since the Clare unit was set up this summer. The Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) opened in May and became fully operational a month later, according to Detective Sergeant Paul English who made a presentation to the Joint Policing Committee last Monday. There is now a unit in every Garda division, Sergeant English noted, tasked with investigations into areas involving vulnerable adults, sexual crime, online child exploitation, domestic abuse, trafficking, organised prostitution and victim liaison. He also told JPC members that while there had been a drop, during the lockdown, in the number of survivors coming forward to organisations such as Rape Crisis Midwest (RCMW), there had been a noticeable increase as the country reopened. Of the 22 investigations referred to Clare’s DPSU, 18 related to sexual assaults, including rape; two concern child exploitation and two involve coercive control. Giving an overview …

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Garda patrols stepped up after graveyard thefts in Ennis, Tulla

GRAVEYARDS in two locations in the county have had Garda patrols stepped up in response to a spate of thefts that has been going on since the start of the year, Clare’s Garda chief has said. Addressing last Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran urged people to continue to report incidents and pledged that they would be fully investigated. Since January of this year, there has been a hike in incidents of theft and anti-social behaviour at Drumcliffe Cemetery in Ennis. There has also been an ongoing issue at the graveyard in Tulla, with a spate of thefts of grave ornaments and flowers, over the last nine months. The issue at Drumcliffe was raised by the Mayor of Clare, who voiced frustration with the perception that calls were not being logged. “Since January, I’ve been bringing this to the attention of the Gardaí and the local authority,” Councillor Mary Howard said. “I have found …

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CCTV ‘a legal minefield’ in war on illegal dumping

A ‘MINEFIELD’, is one of the words used by members of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) to describe data protection regulations, which currently prevent the council from using remotely-operated CCTV to stamp out illegal dumping. Outlining the current legal situation under GDPR, Senior Engineer Cyril Feeney said it appears that the only viable option is to ask the permission of the Garda Commissioner. Mr Feeney outlined the council’s powers under the Waste Management Act, and noted that that legislation does not allow the remote operation of CCTV. “We have seen an uptick in illegal dumping with Covid-19,” Mr Feeny said. “It is of particular concern in parts of South East Clare. We undertook a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to see what the implications of the CCTV option might be, and found that GDPR would apply and that we would need the consent of those engaging in illegal dumping and clearly that is not going to happen.” Explaining a proposal …

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