Minister Flanagan Launches the National Rural Safety Forum
Minister hails establishment of the Forum as “An important day for rural Ireland”
Forum is co-chaired by An Garda Síochána and the Irish Farmers Association
Forum demonstrates a collaborative approach to Crime Prevention and Community Safety
18 September, 2019
Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today launched the National Rural Safety Forum at the National Ploughing Championships in Ballintrane, Co. Carlow.
Speaking from the Garda tent, Minister Flanagan praised the work of the organisers in bringing this wide-ranging group together under the umbrella of Community Safety.
The Minister said “This is an important day for rural Ireland and demonstrates An Garda Síochána’s focus on the principle of Community Safety. This forum has been established and is co-chaired by Assistant Commissioner Orla Mc Partlin of the Garda Community Relations Bureau, and Mr Richard Kennedy of the Irish Farmers Association. I commend them for driving forward the work of this group.”
The National Rural Safety Forum consists of representatives from a wide range of State and Community organisations including An Garda Síochána, the Irish Farmers Association, Muintir na Tire, Age Friendly Ireland, Foroige, The GAA, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association, the Irish Country Women’s Association, the City and County Management Association, Active Retirement Ireland, the National Transport Authority, Macra na Feirme, Neighbourhood Watch, ESB Networks, the Department of Justice & Equality and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Commenting on the collaborative approach to community safety that will be a particular focus of this group, Minister Flanagan said “The fact that this forum has been established at this juncture demonstrates the ongoing commitment of An Garda Síochána to implement the recommendations of the report. The Commission identified the crucial need for collaboration and multi-agency approaches with the following deceptively simple sounding principle – that policing and security are not for the police alone.”
The Minister continued “The National Rural Safety Forum was established to provide community reassurance, to develop and utilize a nation-wide communications network for the distribution of crime prevention advice, to increase engagement within communities and to prevent crime and to reduce the opportunity for crime. I am certain that the work of the forum will provide great reassurance to communities and individuals across Ireland who live in fear of crime.”
The Forum will, every quarter, distribute a crime prevention leaflet via email to over 1,000,000 homes across Ireland. They will also meet at least 4 times a year to discuss issues of concern to those living in rural Ireland, to develop initiatives to promote community safety and to reduce the opportunity for crime throughout the country.
Note for Editors:
The National Rural Safety Forum was established following stakeholder consultation between An Garda Síochána and key partners such as the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and Muintir na Tire. The goal is to provide a platform for a collaborative partnership approach to support the delivery of a rural community policing service. The Forum held its inaugural meeting on 17th April 2019 and has met on three occasions.
The National Rural Safety Forum was established with four key objectives:
Information Sharing & Communication Network
Increased Community Engagement
Crime Prevention & Crime Opportunity Reduction
The constituent members of the Forum will distribute Crime Prevention material, via email, to their own membership mailing lists. It is estimated that this material will reach over 1,000,000 households nationwide, thus reducing the opportunity for crime.
A short video on the National Rural Safety Forum has been developed and can be viewed on the Garda Síochána (@gardainfo) and Department of Justice (@DeptjusticeIRL) Twitter pages.
National Engagement Day:
On 22nd November, 2019, a national engagement day will take place in hundreds of locations nationwide. This will be an opportunity for members of the public to meet with a local community Garda who will be able to discuss issues of local concern with members of the community and offer practical crime prevention advice.
The details of the day of engagement are still being finalised. Members of the public should contact their local forum representative for further information.