196. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice the exact structure and funding provided to the new community safety partnerships; and the way in which funding is allocated to this project from the Community Safety Innovation Fund. [51376/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy may be aware, three Local Community Safety Partnerships are currently being piloted over 24 months in North Inner City Dublin, Waterford and Longford. These locations allow the proposed structure to be trialled in a high population density area, a medium population density area and a low population density area, with a regional distribution. The pilots are subject to independent evaluation, with learning outcomes taken into account in the drafting of the statutory framework for community safety and applied to the national roll out of similar partnerships in communities across the country.
Membership of these Local Community Safety Partnerships includes representatives from relevant public services including the HSE, Tusla, An Garda Síochána, local authorities and councillors as well as residents and community groups, representatives of youth, new communities and the voluntary, business and education sectors.
The pilots are each chaired by an independent chairperson and each pilot is also supported by a dedicated staff member - the local community safety coordinator - whose role is to support the Partnership, engage the residents in the community on safety issues and link them in with the work of the Partnership.
Each of the pilots will receive funding for the provision of administrative support to undertake the work of the pilots. The Dublin pilot will receive funding of €345,000 over 24 months in partnership between my Department, NEIC and Dublin City Council. The Waterford and Longford Pilots will receive funding through Dormant Accounts Funding of €245,000 each for 24 months.
Each Local Community Safety Partnership will develop a Local Community Safety Plan which will identify actions and the Department or Agency with responsibility for fulfilling these actions. Support to implement these actions will come from existing budget allocations.
Local Community Safety Partnerships may also apply for funding for additional community safety interventions through the new Community Safety Innovation Fund, the establishment of which is provided for in Budget 2022. It is intended that this fund will support investment in projects which will improve community safety. The fund, which is expected to grow in the coming years, will have an initial outlay in 2022 of €2m.
A call for funding proposals will issue seeking applications for community safety projects and similar initiatives from bodies involved in community safety, such as the new Local Community Safety Partnerships and the Drogheda Implementation Board, as well as similar entities nationwide.
Applications will be assessed against stated criteria outlined in the call for proposals to ensure funding is allocated to encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand local community safety needs best. These criteria for allocating funding are currently under consideration and will be announced in due course.
The approach we are taking will ensure that the best proposals to improve community safety will get the funding they need and will encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand local community safety needs best. It will also allow best practice on community safety to be shared with other partnerships around the country as new proposals get developed.