Joint Policing Committee Minutes
Minutes of Meeting of The County Sligo Joint Policing Committee held on Friday 24th September 2021 at 10.30 a.m. in The Members Room, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo & Via Sligo County Council’s Virtual Meeting Room
- Councillor Marie Casserly, Vice-Chairperson
- Ms. Amanda Gaynor, Superintendent, An Garda Síochána (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr. Pauric Burke, Superintendent, An Garda Síochána (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Martin Connolly (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Tom Fox (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Sinéad Maguire, (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Gerard Mullaney (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Dara Mulvey (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Councillor Gino O’Boyle (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Deputy Marian Harkin T.D (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr. Martin Lydon, Chief Executive, Sligo County Council
- Mr. Jim Molloy, Director of Services, Sligo County Council, (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Ms. Margaret McConnell, Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Ms. Aisling Smyth, Administrative Officer, Sligo County Council (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr. Kevin Colreavy, Administrative Officer, Sligo County Council
- Ms. Jane Golden, Staff Officer, Sligo County Council
- Ms. Vanessa Clarke, Sligo PPN (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr. Michael Collins, Sligo PPN (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Ms. Sheila Leydon, Sligo PPN
- Mr. David Tuffy, Sligo PPN (via Virtual Meeting Room)
- Mr. Aidan Glacken, Chief Superintendent, An Garda Síochána
- Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady, Chairperson
- Councillor Dónal Gilroy, Sligo County Council
- Mr. John Moran, Senior Executive Officer, Sligo County Council
- Ms. Gail McGibbon, Sligo PPN
The Vice Chairperson, Councillor Marie Casserly presided and welcomed all present to the meeting.
1. TO CONFIRM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING HELD ON 26TH MARCH 2021:
Proposed by Councillor T. Fox
Seconded by Councillor G. O’ Boyle
“To confirm minutes of meeting of County Sligo JPC held on 25th June 2021.”
2. MATTERS ARISING:
There were no matters arising.
3. SLIGO JPC STRATEGIC PLAN 2017-2022 (UPDATE ON ACTIONS):
Sligo JPC Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022
Superintendent Gaynor welcomed Mr. Martin Lydon to his new role as Chief Executive of Sligo County Council.
Superintendent Gaynor reported on some crime figures as follows:
- Burglaries were down 24% from 74 to 56
- Thefts were down 38% from 290 to 169
- Drunkenness Offences were up 40% from 58 to 81
- Drugs Driving detections were up 153% from 19 to 48
An update on actions within the JPC Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022 was given by Superintendent Gaynor and Superintendent Burke as follows:
- Work on the ground in Communities continues to be busy and included a Make a Way Day which highlighted the importance of keeping footpaths and dedicated parking bays clear for people with disabilities, also Park and Walk and Feet on the Beat initiatives
- Regular Garda Síochána Clinics continue to be held within communities
- Diversity Strategy – two new workers will start in the Divisional Diversity Office in February 2022 for 9 months
- Initiatives to address fear of crime included crime prevention talks, assault and crime reduction strategies, use of social media to inform and reassure and Operation Faoiseamh which entails victim engagement and call backs to victims of crimes that are ongoing
- OCG – witness intimidation prevention strategy is ongoing
- Drugs to the value of €928,835 were seized in the Sligo/Leitrim Division between 01 Jan – 10 June 2021
- New cells have been completed and will be functional within a week – Deputy Marian Harkin T.D. was thanked for her support with the issue of accommodation at Sligo Garda Station
- There has been one fatal traffic accident in 2021 to date, serious injuries numbers are down from 2020 figures from 4 to 2
- There were 96 detections of DUI – 48 for Drug Driving and 48 for Drink Driving. This was up by 23 for the same period in 2020
- To date, there have been 530 checkpoints and 1472 patrols conducted with multiagency checkpoints continuing
- Operation Dualgas (Protection and Securing our Coastlines and Waterways) is ongoing with 550 incidents reported through checkpoints and patrols. The cross border nature of this work in partnership with the PSNI was highlighted.
Members thanked Superintendent Gaynor and Superintendent Burke for their detailed and informative reports and expressed their appreciation for the work that An Garda Síochána are doing.
Councillor Marie Casserly acknowledged the hard work and dedication of all members of An Garda Síochána who had engaged tirelessly on the frontline over the last two years. Councillor Casserly stated that An Garda Síochána had made huge efforts in engaging with the public during the pandemic and they should be credited for their selfless work, some examples of which were highlighted as follows:
- Garda McNulty walking around Sligo with a person and their guide dog when 5 km restrictions eased to build up this person’s confidence after they had cocooned for so long
- The Roads Policing Unit escorting a group of frontline medical staff cyclists, ICU4U, who were cycling in memory of those who had lost their lives to Covid -19
- Making the public aware of potential phone and text scams
- Assisting the HSE in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccinations to nursing homes and the distribution of PPE to healthcare staff
- The delivery of shopping and fuel to older residents in our communities who had to cocoon
- Sligo County Council are currently looking at a number of different models for a countywide system
- Leitrim County Council are looking at similar opportunities
- Considerations included: needs, mapping, core service, costs, technology, procurement and community engagement
- Vanessa Clarke was thanked for their input and work to date with Community Text Alert Groups
Ms. V. Clarke recognised the good work being done and ensured members that she would communicate the updates from the meeting to the communities that she represents.
Councillor O’ Boyle sought clarification on figures for sexual assault and it was noted that these figures were reflective of statistics to date and therefore were not comparable with figures for 2020.
Superintendent Gaynor informed members that the unit currently has 96 active investigations ongoing with referrals coming from the three Garda Districts, TUSLA, SATU, DVAS and other agencies. Members of the unit carried out joint training with the Donegal Sexual Assault Treatment Unit with CPD training continuing with probationary Gardaí.
DPSU continues to work in with conjunction with other members of the Sexual Assault Response Team, SATU, DVAS and TUSLA. A study day for professionals is scheduled for 30th September 2021. This will be a practical guide to a multi-agency approach to sexual violence.
DPSU continues to actively engage with the Diversity Strategy. Members participated in a number of information days with the Diversity Team and engaged with the Smily LGBT6Q Group, the Islamic Society, the Indian Society and residents in Globe House.
It was agreed that a letter be sent to An Garda Síochana supporting the need for additional resources for the Divisional Protective Services Unit given how busy the unit is currently.
Councillor Marie Casserly queried if there was an awareness raising campaign regarding the issue of drink/drug driving.
Superintendent Pauric Burke informed the members that there was a National Media Campaign which had a NW Regional and local focus to determine where best to allocate resources. Schools Programmes were seen as a key part of any awareness raising campaign given that children are considered key influencers. It was acknowledged that drug driving is becoming an increasingly worrying problem.
Deputy Marian Harkin T.D. highlighted the need to keep communities informed of the work of An Garda Síochána and the importance of getting this information out to people. The need for further resources for the Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) was supported.
Superintendent Gaynor agreed that the DPSU will need additional resources in the future.
Councillor Sinead Maguire recognised the volume of positive initiatives currently ongoing and congratulated An Garda Síochána on their work during the pandemic. The issue of cybercrime was highlighted along with a query on how drug driving was detected.
Superintendent Gaynor stated that cybercrime was on the increase and that there is a new Cyber Crime Unit based in Galway with twenty members of An Garda Síochána assigned to it. Sligo also has a detective assigned to work on Cyber Crime.
Superintendent Pauric Burke informed members that detection of drug driving is based on evidence uncovered on the roadside.
Councillor Tom Fox acknowledged the work being done and supported the call for improved accommodation at Sligo Garda Station. The need to ensure members of the farming community were aware of the work of An Garda Síochana was also highlighted.
4. UPDATE ON KOMEER APPLICATION:
Ms. Aisling Smyth gave a report on the Komeer Application and highlighted the following:
Ms. Vanessa Clarke thanked Ms. Smyth for the update and queried if Sligo County Council were in a position to provide a free App to community groups in the county. It was also highlighted that not everybody uses App’s, with text messages still being the most preferred way for people to receive information. A review is ongoing with members of Community Text Alert Groups.
Superintendent Gaynor thanked Ms. Smyth for the report and highlighted the need for one system.
Mr. Michael Collins was in favour of a countywide system and gave the system being used in County Monaghan as an example of best practice.
Councillor Gerard Mullaney highlighted the need for any App to be compatible with basic mobile phones.
Councillor Tom Fox queried if it would be possible to merge new technology with the current text system.
Mr. Martin Lydon informed members that it is possible to integrate the system but it would take time e.g., it took 4 years to put this service in place in County Monaghan. The need to involve the end users was highlighted as important.
It was agreed to put an update on the Komeer App on the agenda for the first JPC Meeting in 2022.
5. NOTICE RECEIVED OF ISSUES TO BE RAISED:
(i) Received from Councillor Marie Casserly;
To thank the Gardaí for their Frontline Covid work and efforts
This was dealt with under Item 3.
(ii) Received from Councillor Marie Casserly;
To seek a Report and Update on the Garda Protective Services Unit in the Sligo Leitrim Division
This was dealt with under Item 3.
There was no correspondence.
7. ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEXT MEETING:
The next JPC Meeting will be held on Friday 10th December 2021 at 10.30am.
The Vice -Chairperson thanked everyone and concluded the meeting at 11.55am.
Meeting Date 24/09/2021