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New All Island Community Safety Network Launched.

The Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee TD has launched a new All Island Community Safety Network.

The project is being funded through the Community Safety Innovation Fund, which seeks to reinvest seized proceeds of crime directly back into projects, to improve community safety.

Community Safety is a priority topic at both national and local levels and this Network will facilitate the sharing of ideas, good practice, and projects in relation to Community Safety and Policing engagement across the island of Ireland, both North and South.
The Network will offer communities an opportunity to hear first-hand about the successes of other groups across the entire island and offer them the chance to shine a light on their own examples of effective collaborative community safety projects that might be mirrored elsewhere.

The establishment of this network is timely given the recent enactment of the Policing, Security and Community Safety Act, which allows for the establishment of Local Community Safety Partnerships on a nationwide basis.
The project builds on the project partners’ previous experience collaborating on Beyond Borders: The All-Island Community Safety Conference held in November 2022, when over 300 attendees from both jurisdictions came together to get an insight into best practice in Community Safety; not only from Ireland but further afield.

The Network is a collaboration between Longford Community Safety Partnership, Drogheda Implementation Board and Newry Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Current and new Local Community Safety Partnerships in Ireland; Policing and Community Safety Partnerships in Northern Ireland; Joint Policing Committees; alongside relevant statutory and community organisations, will be invited to participate in Network events and activities.

Minister McEntee said: “Community safety is about people being safe and feeling safe in their communities. Local communities, key workers in the area and local representatives are often best placed to know and identify issues that will improve community safety in their areas. But learning from what has worked in other communities is also important, so that best practice can be mainstreamed.
This all-Island network will allow statutory and community partners to hear about examples of effective collaborative community safety projects and to develop better cross border relationships to enhance community safety across the island of Ireland.
I am delighted to launch the Network today, wish the project partners well and look forward to seeing the initiatives and project concepts which emerge positively impacting communities across Ireland”.

Ms Martina Maloney, (Chair of Longford Community Safety Partnership), speaking at the launch commented: “The high numbers of attendees at Beyond Borders, coupled with the very positive feedback we received from attendees showed us that there is a desire for more opportunities to share learning and gain insights into best practice in Community Safety across the island of Ireland.
Indeed a number of community safety projects emerged from the event, including the delivery of Kids’ Courts by Longford Community Safety Partnership alongside An Garda Síochána and local primary schools; and a collaborative youth drug prevention programme delivered by Foróige and Youth Work Ireland Louth in Drogheda.
We greatly appreciate funding from the Department of Justice which has enabled us to establish this Network and continue to bring together Community Safety practitioners from both North and South of the Border.
We will be hosting a series of thematic events in 2024 and 2025 on topics relating to Community Safety that are of importance to people in our own communities and beyond –Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence; community led Crime Prevention; Road Safety and more – and will also be establishing a Practitioner Forum to provide peer supports to individuals and agencies involved in Community Safety structures.”

Councillor Ms Oonagh Hanlon, (Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down Policing & Community Safety Partnership) said: “Collaborative working and shared learning is vitally important in tackling crime across both jurisdictions. The All Island Community Safety Network provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the work of our Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs); to share learning and allow us to build and maintain the relationships which are critical to this work as we strive to make our communities as safe as possible”.

The first event, focusing on policy and practice relating to Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence is being hosted by Drogheda Implementation Board on Tuesday 12th March 2024. Policy makers and practitioners from across Ireland will be in attendance. Enquiries relating to this event should be directed to Drogheda Implementation Board at implementationboard@lmetb.ie.

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