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Community Policing

Careers

What is Community Policing?

Community policing is the provision of a policing service to the whole community both urban and rural through a partnership based, proactive, problem solving style of policing. It is focused on community engagement, crime prevention and law enforcement and addresses crime and policing quality of life issues affecting communities. An Garda Síochána delivers an effective community policing service, responsive to the needs of a modern and diverse community under the following 6 principles:

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Community Partnerships
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Crime Prevention
  5. Law Enforcement
  6. Accountability 

Community Policing Areas (CPAs)

Every garda division in the country is mapped into Community Policing Areas (CPAs). The CPA is the patrol and responsibility areas for Community Gardaí. Each CPA will have a dedicated Community Garda assigned to it. 

Community Policing Teams (CPTs)

Each Division will have a number of Community Policing Teams (CPTs) assigned to it consisting of an Inspector, Sergeant, Community Policing Gardaí. CPTs will prioritise engagement with communities for the delivery of long-term sustainable solutions to community needs. 

What is a Community Garda?

A member of An Garda Síochána can be deemed to be a ‘Community Garda’ where that member is allocated to a Community Policing Team (CPT) and is responsible and accountable for applying a problem–solving approach to appropriate crime and policing quality of life issues in a specified geographic area through partnership and engagement. In some rural areas, the existing personnel will form Community Policing Teams (CPTs). They will have dual functions as first responders and community policing members.

Additionally, CPTs will be augmented by Community Support Gardaí who will perform frontline duties and will be assigned a particular CPA to support a dedicated Community Garda. 

An Garda Síochána’s Community Policing Objectives

  • To engage in partnership opportunities (e.g. JPC, Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert, local policing fora, various retail fora, Business Watch)
  • To provide an accessible and visible Garda service to communities.
  • To establish effective engagement processes to meet the needs of local communities and provide feedback to communities.
  • To use problem-solving initiatives, devised in partnership with communities and local agencies, to tackle crime, drugs, public disorder and anti-social behaviour, through targeted enforcement, crime prevention and reduction initiatives.
  • To engage in a community-focused approach to provide solutions that reduces the fear of crime.
  • To engage meaningfully with young people to develop and foster positive relationships and promote personal and community safety.
  • To enhance communication strategies that articulate community policing objectives and outcomes.
  • To work in partnership with other agencies ensure safety on our streets and roads.
  • To be accountable to the community we serve. 

Operational National Support 

The following Operational National support structures have been established to ensure a consistent service for community policing: 

  1. Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, has been designated as organisational lead responsible for the implementation on national policy for community policing. 
  1. The Garda National Community Policing Unit will support implementation of policy, design and produce training content for community policing and provide practical support to Community Policing Teams including the gathering and disseminating of best community policing practices.  

Roles & Responsibilities 

Regional Assistant Commissioners 

Regional Assistant Commissioners will be responsible for the operational introduction of Garda National Policy on Community Policing. Each Regional Assistant Commissioner will ensure that: 

  1. Community policing is introduced and maintained into all areas of their respective Garda Region.
  2. They augment and support, where required, the resources for Community Policing Teams.  

Divisional Officers 

Divisional Officers are critical to the success of community policing and their role will be to drive and embed community policing within their Divisional Community Policing Areas. The role of Chief Superintendents in conjunction with their Community Engagement Superintendents will be absolutely pivotal, in ensuring the proper resourcing of the Community Policing function within the area under their command.          

Community Engagement Superintendent 

Every Community Engagement Superintendent will take ownership of Community Policing within his/her area of responsibility. In line with policy each Community Engagement Superintendent will ensure that Community Policing Teams are established in their areas of responsibility. 

Inspectors and Sergeants 

Inspectors and Sergeants assigned to Community Policing Teams will support the Community Engagement Superintendent in delivery of effective and responsive policing service for his/her community policing team area. The assigned Inspector will be responsible to manage and supervise the CPT within his/her community policing team area. The assigned Sergeant will be responsible to manage and supervise the Community Policing Team within his/her community policing team area and individual Community Gardaí in CPAs. 

Community Gardaí 

The role of the Community Garda working within their Community Policing area, in addition to the core policing role as defined within Section 7 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, is defined within An Garda Síochána’s Community Policing framework and a Role Profile has been developed. The core functions of a Community Garda are: 

  • Enforcing the law by adopting appropriate measures of sanction
  • Establishing and supporting community crime-prevention programmes
  • Patrolling effectively to reassure the community, reduce the fear of crime, and address quality of life issues
  • Working proactively in partnership with the community
  • Identifying and tackling the root causes of community issues by adopting problem-solving techniques
  • Improving interaction and communication between all sections of the community and An Garda Síochána. 

Garda National Community Policing Unit,

Garda Bureau of Community Engagement,

Garda Headquarters,

Harcourt Square,

Dublin 2 D02 DH42

Tel: +353 1 666 3806/08/09

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