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Summary of the Report - Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland.

This report outlines the National Crime Council's proposal for a Crime Prevention Strategy for Ireland. In its considered opinion the National Crime Council believes:

  1. The proposed National Crime Prevention Model constitutes the most suitable and potentially beneficial model to adopt in the Irish context to tackle crime at a local level (p.17). In relation to crime and crime prevention in Ireland the National Crime Council recommends:

  2. A clear, mutually accepted definition of crime prevention, with the emphasis on appropriate early intervention, should be drawn up across all Government Departments and statutory agencies (p.20).

  3. That to make the best use of resources and to adopt a range of policy initiatives in the short, medium and long term to address crime, future Government policies should be developed with in-built independent evaluations and time frames (p.20).

  4. The National Crime Prevention Model must dovetail with the work of all Government Departments, statutory agencies as well as other relevant groups and be independently evaluated and reviewed (p.21).

  5. An Garda Síochána further develop community policing structures, with in-built independent evaluation procedures, that are responsive to specific community needs (p.22).

  6. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Garda Commissioner should set out a time frame for the development of community policing structures and this time frame should be published (p.22).

  7. To facilitate the establishment of the Garda Inspectorate the proposed Garda Síochána Bill be published and enacted as soon as possible (p.22).

  8. The Irish Prison Service further expand their work in developing links between the 'closed prison environment' and the wider community so that the access of ex-prisoners to employment is increased and recidivism is reduced. All projects for prisoners operating within the Irish Prison Service should be subject to regular, independent evaluations so as to inform and guide future developments (p.23).

  9. The expansion of non-custodial sanctions, for juvenile and adult offenders alike, further to this there should be a rehabilitative focus to all such sanctions (p.24).

  10. Aspects of environmental design and urban planning, which may serve to reduce opportunities for crimes to occur, are given careful consideration in all Local Authority projects (p.24).

  11. That all local, regional and national groups and/or initiatives working in areas, directly or indirectly, related to crime prevention make efforts to promote greater co-operation and collaboration in working towards their shared objectives (p.25).

    In relation to the National Crime Prevention Model the National Crime Council recommends:

  12. That all agencies rationalise their services, so that they will complement one another and become more coherent and effective in the delivery of services (p.28).

  13. The National Crime Prevention Model be established within an existing structure. The recommended structure is that of the County/City Development Boards (p.29).

  14. The recruitment of a dedicated Crime Prevention Representative in every County/City Development Board (CDB). The appointee would be a member of the CDB and also participate in the Social Inclusion Measures Working Group of the CDB (p.32).

  15. The establishment of a Sub-committee dedicated to tackling crime prevention within each County/City Development Board (p.32).

  16. The establishment of a National Crime Prevention Co-ordination Office with specific responsibility for crime prevention and the appointment of a National Crime Prevention Co-ordinator with support staff (p.34).

  17. The National Crime Prevention Co-ordination Office be established under the aegis of a National Crime Prevention Steering Committee. The Steering Committee would be appointed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and should have broadly based representation (p.34).

    In relation to implementing the National Crime Prevention Model the National Crime Council recommends:

  18. The commencement of a pilot of the National Crime Prevention Model:
    1. within three County/City Development Boards nationwide, this would most beneficially involve one city and two county Development Boards;
    2. the pilot would last for a period of two years; and
    3. the pilot would be subject to independent evaluation (p.38/9).
  19. A local consultation process be instigated within each community to identify crimes which are the most prolific, cause the most harm and most urgently need to be tackled (p.37).

  20. Knowledge and expertise of the key statutory agencies should be sought to inform and contribute to the National Crime Prevention Model (p.37).

  21. Steps be taken by all Government Departments and statutory agencies to develop up-to-date, accessible and usable statistics that can aid national policy formulation and research (p.37).

  22. Data be made available at a local level, based on the same area boundaries, to allow for more accurate planning of services and initiatives (p.37).

  23. An Garda Síochána publicise more widely the consultation processes they currently undertake when developing their Annual Policing Plans to facilitate greater community involvement (p.38).

  24. The first independent evaluation of the pilot Crime Prevention Strategies take place after two years. There should be no undue delay in the nationwide roll-out of the Crime Prevention Strategies once the evaluations have been reviewed and any resulting improvements implemented (p.39).

    In relation to the services for and needs of young people the National Crime Council recommends:
  25. The maintenance of diversity in the type of youth activities and youth providers (p.42).

  26. Adequate funding for successful youth work projects must be committed in the long-term with multi-annual funding available for services that are shown to be effective through independent evaluation (p.42).

  27. The use of more inclusive language to address young people in policy documents and by people in positions of authority and/or influence (p.43).

  28. The current inadequacies in some youth services, as identified in this report, be prioritised for re-appraisal upon the implementation of the National Crime Prevention Model (p.44).

    In relation to young children and their families the National Crime Council recommends:

  29. Greater levels of interaction between local health workers, schools, parents, family members and children to identify and respond, as early as possible, to the needs of young children and their families (p.45).

    In relation to education and early intervention the National Crime Council recommends:

  30. That the reduced pupil to teacher ratio be extended to apply to all classes in schools which have been designated as 'disadvantaged' by the Department of Education and Science (p.45).

  31. The implementation of the recommendations of the Educational Disadvantage Committee, which the National Crime Council fully supports and advocates (p.46).

  32. The Department of Education and Science develop interventions aimed at specific groups, as well as expanding the current provisions for those 'at risk' of early school leaving (p.46).

  33. The Department of Education and Science recognise, introduce and place equal value upon non-traditional educational environments, such as Youthreach and Community Training Workshops, which can be of particular benefit to those distanced from traditional schooling (p.47).

  34. Consideration be given to expanding the remit of the National Educational Psychological Service to work in conjunction with local Health Boards in providing for pre-primary school aged children (p.47).

  35. The National Educational Psychological Service continue to prioritise their waiting lists according to the needs of the individual child and that the service endeavour to provide support for all children as soon as possible (p.48).

  36. That close liaison be established between the Educational Welfare Officers of the National Educational Welfare Board and the county/city Crime Prevention Representatives (p.48).

  37. The Educational Welfare Officers endeavour to deliver a same day response to absenteeism (p.48).

  38. The new regional education offices make educational services more accessible to the community, in particular, they should have the ability to make and deliver on commitments at a local level (p.49).

  39. A priority of the regional education offices should be to gather accurate statistics that can be made available at a local level and can feed into local research and project planning (p.49).

    In relation to the future development of the National Crime Prevention Model the National Crime Council recommends:

  40. Consideration be given to all statutory agencies being obligated to provide data based on the same geographical boundaries, at least at an electronic level, as this should not affect existing administrative boundaries (p.53).

  41. The agencies involved in relevant national research projects be obliged to release all relevant data, subject to confidentiality issues, to the Crime Prevention Strategy personnel to ensure that optimal use can be made of the data (p.54).

  42. The Children Act, 2001 be fully implemented within a set time frame (p.54).

  43. The Government consider creating and maintaining a directory or database detailing funding to all programmes and initiatives on a county-by-county basis and making it publicly available (p.55).

 

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