Ministers Browne and McEntee encourage public to participate in the National Rural Safety Forum’s National Community Engagement Day
- Events taking place in over 300 locations across the country today where people can get to know their local Gardaí
- Minister Browne to publish Rural Safety Plan later this year
Ministers James Browne and Helen McEntee will today join with partners from the National Rural Safety Forum in marking this year’s National Community Engagement Day. Hundreds of events are taking place in communities all over Ireland today, giving people the chance to get to know their local Gardaí and other community representatives from their local area.
Crime prevention advice will be on hand and any questions and advice regarding crime prevention will be addressed by members of An Garda Síochána.
Speaking about National Community Engagement Day, Minister Browne said:
“I am delighted to be involved with National Community Engagement Day. This year is particularly important as the pandemic prevented the event from going ahead last year.
People living in rural communities, and indeed in all communities in Ireland, deserve to feel, and to be, safe and my hope is that today can nurture the already strong bonds between An Garda Síochána, other community representatives and the people they serve.
The Department of Justice funds a number of initiatives around the country to help build rural safety. In coordination with our colleagues in the National Rural Safety Forum, I intend to publish a Rural Safety Plan later this year which will consolidate the many excellent initiatives which are already underway on rural safety nationally.”
Minister McEntee said:
“Today is a wonderful opportunity for communities to meet and engage with their local Gardaí, IFA branch representatives and other community groups involved in the National Rural Safety Forum.
Rural safety is a priority for me as Minister for Justice and part of our work in the area is to ensure that An Garda Síochána has the resources it needs to provide a visible policing service that is valued for the public service it provides. Budget 2022 has provided an unprecedented allocation of over €2 billion to An Garda Síochána. This includes funding for the recruitment of up to an additional 800 Garda members and up to 400 Garda staff this year and I am delighted that over 10,000 applications were received in the recent Garda recruitment campaign. The deployment of additional Gardaí to communities across the country, as well as the further development of innovative new initiatives such as our pilot Local Community Safety Partnerships will ensure greater safety for communities right across Ireland.”
The National Rural Safety Forum brings together An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice and the Department of Rural & Community Development, alongside national and local organisations including the Irish Farmers Association, Muintir na Tíre, and the GAA. The purpose of the Forum is to develop a nationwide network for the distribution of crime prevention advice, increase engagement within communities and prevent and reduce opportunities for crime.
The series of events, organised by the Rural Safety Forum, is an opportunity for communities to get to know their local Gardaí and local community representatives. All are welcome and details of today’s events can be found on the Garda website, www.garda.ie.
Notes for Editors:
- Rural safety is a priority for the Government and for the Department of Justice.
- The Department of Justice has for many years provided funding for the employment and associated costs of the national Community Alert Programme, including the employment of regional Development Officers. These Development Officers provide support to Community and Text Alert schemes and offer advice on how to establish new schemes.
- In 2021, the Department of Justice committed in the region of €150,000 to local communities who wish to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local Text Alert Scheme, which is administered by Muintir na Tíre. This is a continuation of the annual funding made available by the Department for the Text Alert Rebate scheme each year since 2016.