Launch of “Supporting Safer Communities Campaign” 3rd-7th May 2012
Remarks by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at the launch on the 2nd May 2012
I am delighted to be here to launch An Garda Síochána’s ‘Supporting Safer Communities Campaign’.
The main objective of this campaign is to engage with and raise awareness within our communities of initiatives aimed at:
- preventing crime
- improving road safety and
- creating awareness of the services available to support victims of crime.
It gives us an opportunity to remind the public of the small and simple crime prevention steps they can take to help us to reduce crime for everyone. By working in partnership gardaí and the community can help to build and maintain a safer environment.
I am deeply conscious that our communities are sometimes as likely to be impacted by fear of crime as they are by a direct experience of crime. Reducing that fear is of fundamental importance to us in An Garda Síochána and that is why we place a significant emphasis on working with communities and community groups so that our combined efforts can find better solutions to local problems and identify how we can best meet community needs.
That is why I am very pleased to be joined here today by representatives from Community Alert, Neighbourhood Watch and the Crime Victims Helpline. It provides me with an opportunity to thank them and our many other partners for all their efforts, particularly those who give up their own free time to help. I want to assure them that we in An Garda Síochána are fully appreciative of their efforts.
While the problems presented to and faced by An Garda Síochána cannot be solved by Gardaí working in isolation, we are the organisation with primary responsibility for preventing and detecting crime.
In recent days crime figures for the last five years were published by the Central Statistics Office and many of you will be aware that while there are decreases across a range of serious crimes, there is an increase in burglaries. That does not come as news to us in An Garda Síochána. In fact, we identified, analysed and set about responding to this challenge some time ago.
A coordinated, intelligence led strategy was put in place to proactively target high impact offenders and suspects involved in this criminal activity.
This strategy, known as Operation Fiacla, was reviewed and refocused in February 2012 with a view to identifying and targeting travelling criminals engaged in serious criminal activity including robbery, burglary and aggravated burglary.
The objective of the operation is to disrupt and prevent activity as well as apprehending suspects, investigating incidents and, where possible prosecuting outstanding offences. Specific targeted operations have been implemented in each Region and these are designed to optimise the use of existing structures and resources.
In addition to the targeted operational and investigative response, a comprehensive preventative strategy is also in place under the title Operation Safe Home. This involves all gardaí in awareness raising activity about effective crime prevention measures to tackle incidences of burglary as well as conducting high visibility community policing patrols.
We have many partners that help us everyday in preventing crime. ‘Partnerships’ are fostered between An Garda Síochána and the community in order to find local solutions to local problems and increase safety and security in our society. I believe that a safer community can be achieved by visible, accessible Garda involvement, in the various community partnerships operating locally.
Safe roads are a key element of safe communities. All road users – whether motorists, cyclists or pedestrians – must be protected on our roads through the rigorous enforcement of road traffic legislation. For their part, road users need to take care, heed speed limits and other safety measures in order to avoid visiting pain and tragedy on their own families and wider communities.
Making the connection with the communities we are serving in, is always a priority and the use of those connections during these days will be central to the success of this campaign.
In essence, this campaign offers an opportunity to actively engage and work with, all sections of the community, to achieve a common purpose of improved public safety, through the provision of effective crime prevention and road safety advice.
I would ask members of the public to engage with our Community Garda working in their local communities, to get to know your local Garda and work with us to make all our communities ‘Safer Communities’.
Additional Material re Attendees:
Crime Victims Helpline -
Ms. Maeve Ryan, the Service Co-ordinator , retired Judge Ms Gillian Hussey, Patron.
The Crime Victims Helpline is representative of the 46 Victim Support Organisations funded through the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime, by the Department of Justice and Equality. These organisations support victims of all crimes including Homicide, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence and Burglary.
Mr. John Hogan President of Muintir na Tire, Mr. Liam Kelly (retired Sergeant An Garda Siochana) National Co-ordinator Community Alert Programme.
Community Alert operates primarily in rural communities establishing a crime prevention programme to prevent crime in conjunction with their local Gardai 1,350 schemes covering 246000 households
Mr. Patrick Walsh acting Chairperson Dublin Regional Neighbourhood Watch Committee and Mr. Pedro Anguleo Vice Chairperson Dublin Regional Neighbourhood Watch Committee
Neighbourhood Watch is a partnership programme involving urban communities establishing a crime prevention programme to prevent crime in conjunction with their local Gardai 2,421schemes covering 341,000 households.