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29/07/2021

Calls for JPC to run ‘in tandem’ to new Longford community safety pilot scheme

Cllr Seamus Butler (FF).

Joint Policing Committee Chairperson Cllr Seamus Butler

Longford's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) may have held its last meeting this week as justice department bosses usher in a new Community Safety Partnership scheme.

The anti-crime fighting forum was announced last year with Longford joining north inner city Dublin and Waterford as part of a pilot programme designed to combat crime and make communities safer.

Former Louth and Galway County Council chief executive Martina Moloney was last week appointed chair of the new partnership scheme in a move which is likely to bring an end to the current JPC format at local authority level.

Chairperson Cllr Seamus Butler said it was his hope to see the current policing committee maintain its present day statutory function in the intervening period.

“It may or may not be our last meeting but I don't see why it can't run in tandem as a statutory committee,” he said.

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy said whatever about the fate of the JPC in its existing guise, there was no denying the inroads it had made in promoting crime prevention and addressing key law enforcement matters at a local level.

The Fine Gael Oireachtas representative hailed the “very proactive” part played by both Cllr Butler and his predecessor Cllr Gerry Warnock over the past seven years. They were sentiments Chief Supt Tony Healy gave further credence to.

“It's no coincidence the JPC in Longford has been recognised as best practice locally in delivering for the community,” he said.
Longford County Council officials last week agreed to convey the concerns expressed by Cllr Butler to Department of Justice bosses after it received unanimous approval at its June monthly meeting.

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