Joint Policing Committee Minutes
Minutes of Meeting of The County Sligo Joint Policing Committee held on Friday 26th March 2021 at 10.30 a.m. in The Council Chamber, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo & Via Sligo County Council’s Virtual Meeting Room
- Aidan Glacken, Chief Superintendent, An Garda Síochána
- Mandy Gaynor, Superintendent, An Garda Síochána (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr Tom Kilfeather, A/CE Sligo County Council, (Present in Chamber)
- Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady (Chair) (Present in Chamber)
- Councillor Marie Casserly (Vice-Chair) (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Martin Connolly (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Tom Fox (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Donal Gilroy (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Gerard Mullaney (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Dara Mulvey (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Deputy Marian Harkin T.D (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Vanessa Clarke, Sligo PPN (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Ms Gail McGibbon, Sligo PPN (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr Pauric Burke, Superintendent, An Garda Síochána (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Ms Suzanne Gilmore, Detective Sergeant, An Garda Síochána (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- John Moran, A/Director of Services, Sligo County Council (Present in Chamber)
- Ms Emer Connolly, A/Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council (Present in Chamber)
- Clodagh Quinn, Staff Officer, Sligo County Council, (Present in Chamber)
- Jane Golden, Staff Officer, Sligo County Council, (Present in Chamber)
- Councillor Sinéad Maguire
- Margaret McConnell, Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council
The Chairperson, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady presided and welcomed all present to the meeting.
1. TO CONFIRM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING HELD ON 11TH DECEMBER 2020:
Proposed by Councillor Dara Mulvey
Seconded by Councillor Martin Connolly
“To confirm minutes of meeting of County Sligo JPC held on 11th December 2020.”
2. MATTERS ARISING:
There were no matters arising.
With the agreement of the Chair, Item No. 4 was taken ahead of Item No 3.
4. SLIGO JPC STRATEGIC PLAN 2017-2022 (UPDATE ON ACTIONS:
Sligo JPC Strategic Plan 2017 - 2022
Chief Superintendent Glacken highlighted some actions which have been updated in the Strategic Plan. The advent of Covid 19 has resulted in some roster changes to facilitate an even spread of personnel. There are now two full time Garda units in Sligo and Tubbercurry, with work on extending this in progress in Ballymote.
Park and Walk Initiative
This initiative has commenced and is already increasing visibility of An Garda Síochána in housing estates.
This strategy will be launched soon with focus groups already completed with IT College students, LGTB community, Direct Provision services and DVAS.
Coastal and OCG (Organised Crime Group) Strategies (to include inland waterways)
Superintendent Pauric Burke gave an overview of work currently being conducted re: patrols and checkpoints.
The importance of connecting with communities was highlighted in order to identify their needs and keep them informed about supports and initiatives that An Garda Síochána are delivering. A community stakeholders register is being compiled identifying a point of contact in every local Garda station. Calling cards are being delivered to every household along with a poster campaign targeting tourist areas.
A comprehensive Coastal Strategy is being delivered in partnership with all stakeholders, along with an Organised Crime Strategy, with particular emphasis on drug related crime.
Ms Vanessa Clarke highlighted the fact that crime prevention packs are being distributed to communities with a view to facilitating community engagement, particularly amongst the vulnerable and elderly.
Cyber Crime Programme
A video has been made highlighting the dangers of cybercrime and importance of youth internet safety.
Community Alert Meetings
Superintendent Mandy Gaynor and Ms Vanessa Clarke have conducted three Community Alert meetings in the last three weeks which were very well received. These meetings were held virtually in Sligo North, Sligo South and Sligo Town. It is intended to hold similar meetings on a regular basis.
Ms Vanessa Clarke acknowledged the support of An Garda Síochána in the roll out of community meetings. She also highlighted the possibility of Community Alert supporting An Garda Síochána with their work in the coastal watch areas. A Healthy Ireland Register Project would also identify people at risk in communities.
A series of ‘Lifting the Lid on Elder Abuse’ webinars are scheduled for delivery to communities which will also look at the issue of coercive control. Webinar – CHO 1 will be held on 29th April 2021 at 7pm. Details will be circulated to all members.
This initiative continues to highlight the issue of parking in disabled parking areas and loading bays.
Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken stated that Covid 19 has had a positive impact on the incidences of crime with statistics recording a reduction in crime rates generally. However, incidences of drug/drink driving have increased. A total of five organised crime gangs and 15 primary targets have been identified in Sligo.
Since 1st January 2021, there had been 168 raids and 54 seizures culminating in drugs worth €370,000 being seized along with €151,000 in cash. There were 21 asset profiles targeted. March 2021 also saw a number of court convictions related to burglaries.
A small increase in drug driving offences was recorded.
A 46% decrease in domestic violence was recorded this year with an 88% record in call backs to victims within a 7-day period.
January – March 2021
- 162 fixed charge fines
- 94 people were fined for being outside the 5km Covid 19 restrictions
- 67 attendances at events (mainly house parties)
Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken concluded his report by congratulating Sligo County Council and all agencies involved in Community Response Forum for their resilience and adaptability in the fight against Covid 19. He stated that the reporting of low numbers of Covid cases within the County was reflective of this.
Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady thanked Chief Superintendent Glacken and acknowledged the work of An Garda Síochána in protecting the citizens of Sligo and particularly their work in relation to drug seizures.
Councillor Dara Mulvey welcomed the increased visibility of An Garda Síochána in South Sligo, particularly in regard to the safety of the elderly. He also stated that the proposed community meetings were a welcome addition. He pointed out that there were many avenues that criminals could pursue while committing crimes, particularly with regard to the distribution of drugs i.e. through An Post and other agencies.
Councillor Tox Fox acknowledged the work of An Garda Síochána and stated that there was a noted greater presence of An Garda Síochána in his Municipal District. He also highlighted the importance of ensuring that members of the public were aware of the supports available and the various initiatives that An Garda Síochána were delivering.
Councillor Marie Casserly thanked An Garda Síochana for their work and the support that they were giving to communities through the Community Alert Meetings. She also welcomed the advent of all of the new initiatives.
Chief Superintendent Glacken thanked everyone for their comments and stated that it was important to work in partnership to ensure trust and confidence in the work of An Garda Síochána in order to combat crime and bring cases to the DPP.
In response to Cllrs Mulvey’s point, he stated that An Garda Siochana could be just as inventive as those committing crimes and that many creative and innovative means were being employed by An Garda Siochana to counteract the actions of criminals.
Chief Superintendent Glacken also thanked Ms Vanessa Clarke for her tireless work with the community and welcomed her suggestion to link in with and support the work of the coastal watch team.
3. PRESENTATION ON PROTECTIVE SERVICES UNIT, SLIGO/LEITRIM DIVISION:
D/Sergeant Suzanne Gilmore gave a presentation on the Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) Sligo/Leitrim. The main points were:
- There is a DSPU in every division since September 2020 and they are based out of Sligo Garda Station
- These services put vulnerable people at the centre of the work of An Garda Síochána and has a broad remit, including rape/sexual assault on adults, physical or sexual assault on a child, breaches of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, organised child prostitution and human trafficking offences and domestic abuse
- Victims are referred internally by An Garda Síochana, at a national level and by external agencies i.e. TUSLA, the sexual assault treatment unit and DVAS
- As of the week beginning 22nd March 2021, there are currently 70 active investigations ongoing
- Other initiatives include CPD training to frontline Gardaí, engagement with the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, work in relation to organized prostitution and human trafficking, Social media/radio and participation in working groups
Councillor Rosaleen O’ Grady thanked D/Sergeant Gilmore for her presentation.
Councillor Donal Gilroy stated that it would be important to ensure that the LGBT community were included in the work of the DSPU as they did not appear in the presentation.
Chief Superintendent Glacken also thanked D/Sergeant Gilmore and highlighted that a focus group had been held with members of the LGBT community in the past three weeks (teens and adults). He also assured the members that all sections of society would be included in the roll out of the initiative.
Councillor Marie Casserly complimented D/Sergeant Gilmore on her presentation and also An Garda Síochána on their timely and humorous social media posts.
5. UPDATE ON KOMMER APPLICATION:
Mr Tom Kilfeather, A/CE Sligo County Council emphasised the importance of two-way communication with the community. He agreed that the Text Alert project was worthwhile and that Sligo County Council were in the process of looking at improving the model by working with other Local Authorities nearby in order to explore other models.
6. NOTICE RECEIVED OF ISSUES TO BE RAISED:
7. CORRESPONDENCE (A) LETTER FROM HOUSING INVESTIGATIONS OFFICER, SLIGO COUNTY COUNCIL DATED 12TH MARCH 2021 RE: CCTV AT CALTRAGH CRESCENT AND RUSHEEN ARD:
- John Moran informed the members that the support of the JPC was required by the Cranmore Regeneration Project for an application to the Department of Justice to regularise the 2 CCTV cameras in the Caltragh Crescent and Rusheen Ard housing estates. This was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady and seconded by Councillor Tom Fox.
- A letter received from the Deputy Commissioner re: An Garda Síochána Strategy Statement 2022-2024 which was circulated to all members prior to the meeting. Closing date for submissions is 7th April 2021.
8. ARRANGEMENTS FOR NEXT MEETING:
The next JPC Meeting is scheduled for Friday 25th June 2021.
9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Superintendent Mandy Gaynor thanked the Chair for the warm welcome to the JPC and stated that she was looking forward to working with the members.
The Chair concluded the meeting by thanking the Executive and staff for their assistance during the meeting. She wished Clodagh Quinn well in her new post and welcomed Ms. Emer Connolly and Ms. Jane Golden to their respective new roles.
The meeting concluded at 11.30am.
Meeting Date 26/03/2021