First Discussion Document - 'Crime Prevention and Community Safety'
This First Discussion Document - 'Crime Prevention and Community Safety' is the first in a series of discussion documents to be published in producing a White Paper on Crime.
It takes as its starting point the existence of crime and its impact on the quality of life of individuals and society as a whole. It focuses mainly on ‘high volume’ or ‘street’ crimes of burglary, theft, physical assault and public order offences. It considers the strategies in place in Ireland to prevent crime and their effectiveness.
This document asks:
- How well are existing crime prevention measures working?
- What scope is there for further development?
Approaches to Crime Prevention
Approaches to crime prevention are looked at under the following headings:
- Reducing opportunities for crime and making it harder for crimes to be committed;
- Using locally based partnerships to reduce crime in communities;
- Working with those most at risk of becoming involved in crime to prevent first-time criminality;
- Working to reduce the likelihood of re-offending among those found guilty of offences.
Questions raised in the document include
- What do you think has worked best to prevent or to reduce crime in your neighbourhood? What other things can be done and how can we ensure that they are effective?
- In your experience, how is information on local crime prevention/reduction measures and successes communicated?
- How can links between An Garda Síochána and local communities be improved?
- What part should communities play in considering aspects of their local living environment and their effect on law and order?
- How could existing crime prevention measures be better targeted to get the best possible results and to improve the use of limited resources?
- What structures should coordinate crime prevention activity and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives?
- How could parents be encouraged, helped or made responsible when it comes to tackling criminal or anti-social behaviour by their children?
- How could community-based sentences be developed in your area?
- How can ex-prisoners successfully reintegrate into society? In a contracting labour market are there any particular measures which might help ex-offenders to get a job and keep them from offending again?
Consultations on the Discussion Document comprising public advertisements for written comments and a series of regional consultation meetings concluded in December 2009. Reports on the outcome of these consultations, one on the regional meetings and one summarising written submissions were published in January 2010.
First Discussion Document - 'Crime Prevention and Community Safety' - Summary of Consultation Outcomes
In January 2010 the Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Dermot Ahern TD, published two documents summarising the feedback received on the White Paper on Crime Discussion Document, 'Crime Prevention and Community Safety' (July 2009).
The first of these documents Overview of Submissions Received February 2010 outlines the written responses received by the Department following public advertisements for submissions.
The second document, IPA Summary of Consultation Process November-December 2009 prepared by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) records the views expressed at regional consultation seminars organised by the Department during 2009.
Issues raised during the consultation include:
- the need for measures to tackle the underlying causes of crime
- co-ordination of crime prevention efforts between the relevant agencies
- community policing and communications between An Garda Síochána and the public
- community partnerships to prevent crime and improve quality of life
- the contribution of technology and building design to crime prevention
- the role played by alcohol and drug abuse in offending
- protection for elderly and isolated members of the community
- intervention with children and parents to prevent young people becoming involved in crime
- strategies to reintegrate offenders and reduce future offending
- greater use of community-based sanctions and restorative justice
- resourcing crime prevention measures
- the need for improved research and statistics on crime in Ireland