The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today launched a consultation discussion document entitled ‘Crime Prevention and Community Safety’ as part of the White Paper on Crime process.

The document is aimed at the general reader and addresses a wide range of approaches designed to prevent crime, including;

The discussion document invites views as to how well existing crime prevention measures are working and asks what scope there is for their further development.  

Announcing its publication, Minister Ahern said: "I would encourage all members of the public as well as community groups and others concerned with criminal justice to provide feedback on the questions raised in this discussion paper.  As part of the White Paper process we are going to be looking at every aspect of tackling crime and it makes sense that we should start by considering how we can act to prevent or reduce its occurrence in the first place.

I have put fighting crime at all levels at the top of my agenda since taking office and will continue to do so.  We now have new and ground-breaking legislation dealing with surveillance of criminals, handgun control and prosecuting those who direct organised crime.  Operational measures are matching these initiatives.  This consultation process will not hold up these or other worthwhile reforms.  Instead is gives us an opportunity to make sure that we are well positioned, across the whole of Government, to deal with crime into the future."   

In addition to inviting written submissions on the issues raised, it is also intended to hold a series of regional consultation meetings with community groups and other relevant stakeholders towards the end of the year.  A second phase of consultation meetings is planned for 2010, to ensure a broad nationwide opportunity for involvement as part of the overall White Paper process.

The closing date for receipt of submissions on this document is end November, 2009.  Work is already underway on subsequent discussion documents, the next of which will deal with Sanctions and Offending.  Submissions will be invited in connection with each document.

The discussion document is available on the Department’s website www.justice.ie 

31 July 2009 

Note for Editors

In January of this year, the Minister announced that the commencement of work on a process designed to lead to a White Paper on Crime.  The White Paper, due to be completed in 2011, will set out the overall policy framework within which measures to tackle crime will be implemented well into the future.

A key element in the consultation process is the production of a series of discussion documents which will be used to give structure to the very broad range of subjects which need to be examined as part of the project.

In addition to the document produced today, the intention is to produce a document dealing with Sanctions and Offending later this year.  Topics under consideration for subsequent documents include the Community and the Criminal Justice system and Organised and ‘non-street’ Crime.