Policing Plan 2009

24th February, 2009

I spent the morning with the senior Gardai in our constituency reviewing the Policing Plan for this year. This was an excellent initiative where local representatives and community leaders were briefed on the key policing issues in the area and the Garda plan to address them.

The first thing that struck me is how broad the mandate is for local Garda. The first priority in their strategy statement is to protect national and international security! They are one of only 3 police forces in the world that have protection of national security in their mission statement. They did not go into this in too much detail but they did infer enough for me to know that this task requires more work than you would think.

The important priorities for me were a significant increase in community policing and more focus on ‘caseworking’ persistent adult criminals. This was supported by i) a willingness to track performance versus these measures in public and ii) greater focus on making sure that victims of crime are appraised of progress in catching and prosecuting the criminal.

The Central Area Policing Committee will spend more time tracking and reviewing these strategies at our quarterly meetings. I was really impressed by the strategy. If we can make most of it work this year we will be doing well.