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Tag Archives: Joint Policing Committee (JPC)

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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Older people report feeling ‘unsafe’ in Clare towns

ONE-fifth of Clare’s older people living in towns have reported feeling unsafe at all times, according to the coordinator for the county’s Age Friendly initiative. Karen Fennessy revealed the findings of a survey of the county’s older residents to last Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC). She noted that ongoing cooperation between the Gardaí, the council and other agencies is required to boost the safety of older people in their own homes and in public. Ms Fennessy outlined how an incident at a wedding had highlighted for her the challenges faced by older people. “I was speaking to a woman who had been a nurse and given a huge contribution,” she said. “She told me that when she retired she became invisible. She said that when she goes out in public, she is invisible. She said she’s afraid of groups of teenagers on street corners and she is afraid of falling down. She also said she doesn’t understand …

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