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Cavan / Monaghan joint policing committees days are numbered

Dec 4, 2023 14:35 By News Northern Sound
Cavan / Monaghan joint policing committees days are numbered
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Councillor Shane P. O’Reilly says what is proposed is to have a “behind-closed-doors” committee.

Under new government proposals, joint policing committees are set to be scrapped and be replaced with a non-elective model. A bill containing the new proposals has already passed its first stage in the Dáil and the Justice Committee in Leinster House. It is set to go before the Seanad next week.

Cavan County Councillor Shane P. O’Reilly objects to the new changes saying that if, they come into effect the public will lose its conduit to affect change in An Garda Síochána at a local level, and vice versa. He explained that joint policing committees like those in Cavan and Monaghan, are set up with local authorities after each local council election.

A number of councillors sit on the committees together with representatives from interested groups including, for example, the IFA, Túsla, Community Alert and local ETBs. Cllr O’Reilly said what is proposed is to “completely do away with” the elected element and have a “behind-closed-doors” committee.

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Councillors attend JPC meetings on a voluntary basis, Cllr O’Reilly pointed out “because it’s a conduit for local people to contact their local councillor to report, say, a garda station closing down, or maybe the hours aren’t right, or perhaps there is not enough garda cars in an area, or there’s a need for more garda surveillance in an area where there’s an increase in crime.

“People can bring that to us,” Councillor O’Reilly said, “We’ve been elected by the people, to serve the people and we can bring their concerns forward to JPCs and when it comes to policy decision-making, we can also have an input on that.”

 

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