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Community Policing

In Ireland, Community Policing was initiated by An Garda Síochána in November 1987. Under Community Policing, a member of An Garda Síochána is given responsibility for policing a specific area. He or she works in uniform and makes every effort to meet and build up a constructive relationship with the people who live there. Community Policing has three specific aims:

  1. To provide the people in an area with their own Garda, someone with whom they can discuss everyday occurrences within that area and build up a strong and supportive personal relationship;
  2. To assist the residents of the area to prevent crime by supporting their efforts to promote Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert and other crime prevention initiatives;
  3. To work with other social agencies in the area to help curb crime and vandalism.

Community policing now covers most larger urban areas and many rural areas. As of 31st March 2008, there were 674 members of An Garda Síochána assigned to community policing, representing almost five percent of the total strength of the Force. It should be noted that while these are the number of Gardaí specifically assigned to community policing duties, all Gardaí have a role to play with regard to addressing community policing issues. Community policing is a fundamantal policing philosophy that is not confined to a single unit.

The officers specifically assigned to community policing duties can be broken down by Garda division as follows:

 

Table 1: Members of An Garda Síochána Assigned to Community Policing by Garda Division

 

Divisions Community Gardaí
Carlow/ Kildare
4
Cavan/ Monaghan
1
Clare
4
Cork City
28
Cork North
1
Cork West
5
D.M.R East
54
D.M.R North Central
69
D.M.R North
70
D.M.R South Central
80
D.M.R South
50
D.M.R West
88
Donegal
20
Galway West
19
Kerry
7
Laois/ Offaly
6
Limerick
90
Longford/ Westmeath
16
Louth/ Meath
15
Mayo
8
Roscommon/ Galway East
0
Sligo/ Leitrim
5
Tipperary
9
Waterford/ Kilkenny
20
Wexford/ Wicklow
5

 

(Source: Answer to Parliamentary Question No. 24 on 17/04/08; Accurate to 31/3/08)


 

Garda Síochána National Model of Rural and Urban Community Policing

Strategic Goal 6 of An Garda Síochána Policing Plan 2008 outlines plans to develop and implement the 'Garda Síochána National Model of Rural and Urban Community Policing'. In 2007, An Garda Síochána engaged in consultation with community stakeholders through the issuing of a call for written submissions, in order to ensure that the development of this new National Model of Community Policing takes into account the policing needs of all communities. This process concluded on 20th June 2007. The Policing Plan for 2008 (PDF, 912 KB) estimates that the development of the model will be completed in the first quarter of this year enabling its implementation in the latter part of 2008.

 

 

 

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