Sergeant Lionel Mullally, Maureen Mulryan, Carmel Ward, Vice-Chairman of OPC Des Skelly, Chairperson of OPC Kitty Hughes, Cathaoirleach Cllr Martin Mulleady, Longford County Council CE Paddy Mahon,
A national organisation that provides key support to older people is strongly recommending that a hugely successful garda initiative devised in Co Longford be rolled out across the country.
The award winning “crime prevention ambassador” programme has provided huge reassurance to vulnerable older people particularly those living in isolation and in certain cases an increase in garda patrols in their locality.
It was set up by community policing Sgt Lionel Mullally as a programme to deliver crime prevention information shared among older people within that community.
“The purpose of the initiative is to tackle crimes against older people and address the fear of isolation among older people,” Sgt Mullally said.
“It has two main functions and these are to tackle the fear of crime and help with the prevention of crime and this has led to an increased garda presence in communities because we are able to get the feedback from people.”
Meanwhile, in total, a dedicated team of 25 older people were appointed as “crime prevention ambassadors” in this county and these people have acted as a major point of contact between gardaí and hundreds of other people in the areas.
The information received by gardaí informed new crime prevention guidelines for officers and has led to a more focused use of garda resources.
“The project is designed to empower older persons within the community by working in partnership with gardaí through local community gardaí and crime prevention officers,” Sgt Mullally concluded.