Garda chief Drew Harris backs Longford Gardaí in ongoing fight against crime and vows to restore public confidence in force

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

JPC meeting

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris addresses tonight's public meeting of Co Longford's Joint Policing Committee

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has heaped praise on the ongoing efforts gardaí in Longford are implementing in a bid to cut down on crime as he conceded his focus over the coming months is to replicate that same level of public confidence nationally.

Mr Harris was speaking after attending a public meeting of Co Longford's Joint Policing Commitee in Ballymahon Community Library.

In what was one of his first public engagements outside the capital since his appointment as Garda Commissioner was rubber stamped just over two months ago, Mr Harris singled out the cross collaborative approach gardaí together with various other state agencies had adopted in a bid to curb rural crime.

Mr Harris, however, conceded that one of his main priorities was to restore a broader public trust in the force given the many recent controversies which has dogged it in recent times.

"There is confidence in the local gardai and the service they are providing. For my part I have to build up public confidence in the organisation as a whole but locally confidence is high and the local officers have to be commended for that," he said.

The evening also heard a number of presentations from local garda bosses, led by Chief Supt Tony Healy and Longford Garda Supt Jim Delaney as well as insights from members of the public with one of the most striking coming courtesy of Kitty Hughes, Chairperson of Longford Older Persons Council.

For more on this story, see this week's Longford Leader.