On 20 June 2016, Cork City Joint Policing Committee launched a six-year strategy aiming to enhance relationships between the Local Authority, An Garda Síochána and the community, strengthening ties between the groups.The strategy is the direct result of more than 12 months of consultation and sets out an overall strategy until 2021.
It establishes a clear format of communication between the Local Authority, communities and the gardaí, including regular local forums to raise issues. It includes a series of measurable goals, with specific aims reviewed on an annual basis.
Speaking ahead of the launch, chief executive of Cork City Council, Ann Doherty, said: “The strategy will provide a framework for the work of the JPC and underpins the strong working relationship that exists between the City Council and An Garda Síochána at all levels.”
Garda Chief Supt. Mick Finn; Cllr. Chris O’Leary, Lord Mayor and Chair of the Cork City JPC; and Paul Moynihan, Cork City Council pictured at the launch of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee Six Year Strategic Plan. Pic: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Paul Moynihan, representing Cork City Council at the launch, encouraged people to make use of these local forums to bring issues to light. “Community lies at the heart of what this strategy is about,” he said. “Community safety is not just about reducing crime, it is about creating a sense of safety. This is a very accountable and upfront process. What we would be hoping to see is people engaging with their local policing forum.”
Chief Superintendent Mick Finn said the strategy is a commitment to making Cork a ‘safer and better place to live, work and socialise.’ Mr Finn said, “We are committed to tackling all of the challenges that are presented by a modern, vibrant, diverse community on a day to day basis. No agency or service can solve all of the ills of society but I am confident that together we are strong and better able to deal with these challenges.”
Mr Finn said that the model has been operating in Cork for a number of years, with community forums bringing issues to light at local level and concerns being escalated accordingly.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary, said: “The document is only as good as our efforts, so we have to work on it. It is from the grassroots up and is responding to the community needs.”
The Cork City Joint Policing Committee 6 Year Strategy, 2016 can be found here