Tensions rise over policing committee

by Sylvia Pownall
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]THE quarterly meeting of the Fingal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) has been postponed amid claims by some members that the organisation is in crisis.

A safety linkage group meeting due to take place on November 20 did not go ahead and the JPC’s planned fourth annual meeting on November 30 was also deferred.

Members were told: “A new date for the meeting will be issued following consultation with the Chairperson of the JPC and elected members of Fingal County Council.”

A source told Dublin Gazette that relations have become increasingly strained between the community representatives and other members of the JPC.

The source, a community representative who asked not to be named, said:

“There has been a growing frustration with how the JPC is being run.

“The perception out there is that it is just a talking shop, just window dressing that doesn’t really do anything or act on any of our suggestions.

“They take it down and dust it off four times a year for a meeting, then put it back on the shelf and forget all about it.

“We feel our input is being ignored.”

Things came to a head after a hostile exchange which resulted in community representatives being excluded from attending meetings.

They contend that this is nothing more than red tape and time-wasting and have asked for a mediation process to resolve the dispute so they can get back to business.

A draft six-year Fingal JPC strategy had been due for consideration at the November 30 meeting for agreement and adoption.

Community reps raised issues including abandoned cars, CCTV for public spaces, more street lighting and amenities for young people.

They also recommended increased garda patrols at anti-social ‘hot spots’ such as DART lines, train stations, beaches and parks.

In mid-November they were advised that the Public Participation Network had temporarily withdrawn its participation on the JPC and would reinstate it “following the completion of a successful mediation exercise”.

A new JPC will be formed after next year’s local elections and community reps say they “do not want those people to waste another four years getting nowhere”.

Dublin Gazette understands that negotiations are now under way and some progress has been made in attempting to resolve the impasse.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Fingal County Council has no comment to make.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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