Councillors are unsettled by plans to replace Joint Policing Committees with Community Safety Partnerships.
Three pilot Local Community Safety Partnerships have already been established, with the Department of Justice planning to revamp the current Joint Policing Committee format.
A presentation on the partnerships was delivered at a meeting of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee last week. Membership of the partnerships will be broader than that of the existing JPCs and will include residents, community representatives (including youth, new communities and voluntary sector representation), business and education sector representation, relevant public services including the HSE, Tusla, An Garda Síochána and local authorities, as well as local councillors.
Currently, three pilot Local Community Safety Partnerships have been established in Longford, Waterford and Dublin North Inner City. It is not proposed, at this time, to establish partnerships in any other area until the pilot phase is complete.
However, some councillors are upset that local political representation in the partnerships will be reduced with Oireachtas members set to be excluded. Cllr Al McDonnell said this is another example of ‘the continuous erosion of our democratic responsibility’.
Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh said she cannot see the merit of a shake-up.
“What are we trying to fix here. It seems like we are trying to fix something that is not broken,” said the Erris TD who accused the Department of creating a ‘bureaucratic quagmire’.