The Policing Authority today (13 July 2016) held a meeting attended by Chairpersons and delegates of Joint Policing committees and Chief Executives of local authorities or their representatives from around the country. It was the first meeting of this group for many years.
The Authority and the Joint Policing Committees have a shared interest in effective policing in Ireland which enjoys the confidence of the community. Both have important roles to play in the development of modern oversight and accountability of policing in Ireland.
The Authority convened the meeting in accordance with its responsibilities under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 principally to brief the over 70 attendees about its role and its work to date.
Specifically, the meeting had an opportunity to hear about the progress which has been made in the development of a Code of Ethics for the Garda Síochána, and they were invited to respond in September to the next phase of public consultation on the Code.
There was also an opportunity for an exchange of views regarding the policing priorities for 2017 including a presentation of the Authority’s current thinking, which is at an early stage of development.
Speaking after today’s meeting Policing Authority Chairperson, Josephine Feehily said
“Today marked the start of a relationship with the Joint Policing Committees which operate in every county in Ireland and we want this relationship to be positive and effective. I would like to thank all those who came to meet us today. The Authority and JPCs and local policing fora are ideally placed to share with the Authority their insights in relation to policing priorities and the performance by the Garda Síochána of their policing functions. The Policing Authority and the JPCs have a mutual objective of continuous improvement in policing in Ireland and we hope that interacting with the JPCs will provide the Authority with an invaluable opportunity to listen and learn from experiences from communities from all over Ireland.”
Representatives of the Garda Commissioner and the Department of Justice and Equality also attended the meeting.
Responsibility for issuing Guidelines concerning the establishment and maintenance of Joint Policing Committees and for convening meetings of the Chairs of JPCs transferred from the Minister for Justice and Equality to the Policing Authority when the Authority was established. In future, JPCs will submit their annual reports to the Authority in addition to the Minister and the Garda Commissioner.