28 MARCH 2019
ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the publication of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality report on Community Policing and Rural Crime. “ICSA wants to see the recommendations in this report put into action. Community policing is important. In 2017, ICSA in conjunction with Waterford Institute of Technology produced a series of reports on agricultural crime which showed 66% of farmers who responded had been the victim of some sort of crime. However, some 45% of agricultural crime was not reported to the Gardaí.”
“Rural crime is a significant problem in rural Ireland and it is impacting very much on communities, particularly those living in isolated areas. This is exacerbated by the loss of rural outlets such as pubs, post offices and Garda stations. The quality of life for people in such rural areas is declining and this is a major factor in mental health issues for people who feel isolated, lonely and afraid in their own homes and communities.”
“ICSA strongly favours a much more visible Garda presence in rural areas and the community model of policing which involves collaboration between the Gardaí and community representatives is vital. We want to see closer links so that Gardaí are known to their communities.”
Mr Kent reiterated the need to make it easier for communities to invest in CCTV cameras and to reduce the bureaucracy around funding for them. He also highlighted the importance of a marking system like CESAR but added that Gardaí need resources to increase the availability of scanners to read those markings.
“The Joint Committee report will only be worthwhile if there is full cross party commitment to implementing its findings.”