Success in seizing proceeds of crime to be reflected in new Community Safety Innovation Fund
· Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath announce new fund to help local communities
· Ministers agree to establishment of Community Safety Innovation Fund in principle as part of Budget 2022
21 April 2021
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has today announced that she and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath have agreed, in principle, to establish a new fund to support community safety.
The Ministers said the new Community Safety Fund will reflect the significant successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in disrupting criminal activity and seizing proceeds of crime by providing additional funding for investment in community safety projects.
The new Community Safety Fund will be included in the Justice Vote as part of the Estimates Process for 2022.
Minister McEntee said:
“An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau have had significant success in recent years in hitting the criminal gangs who seek to spread misery in our communities where it hurts - by seizing their cash and assets.
“They are taking the fight to the gangs, but communities around Ireland are also doing vital work in ensuring crime does not take hold in their areas and among young people.
“My Justice Plan 2021 committed to breaking the link between the gangs and our vulnerable young people, and to strengthening community safety.
“The Community Safety Innovation Fund established by Minister McGrath and I will reflect the success of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in seizing the proceeds of crime and will fund projects communities themselves know will help in improving their safety.
“The fund will encourage and recognise the efforts of local communities on the ground based on their local experience and unique perspectives. Successful projects can then be shared across the country.”
Minister McGrath said:
"We are all proud of the success An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau are having in the fight against crime, particularly the type of gang activity which is such a blight on society. Through a partnership approach with local communities, we know that even better outcomes are achieved.
"I am pleased to have worked with my colleague the Minister for Justice to develop this proposal whereby a Community Safety Innovation Fund will be established to allow Local Community Safety Partnerships to apply for financial support for measures to protect their community.
“The allocation to this Fund will have regard to the success to date of the authorities in depriving criminal gangs of cash and other proceeds of crime and in so doing will contribute to a safer community for all."
The establishment of new Community Safety Partnerships in every local authority area is a key element of wide ranging reforms under Minister McEntee’s Policing and Community Safety and Bill, which will give effect to the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. Once established, the Community Safety Partnerships could seek funding to implement their community safety proposals.
Each Community Safety Partnership will bring together residents, community representatives, business interests, councillors, local authorities and State services such as An Garda Síochána, Tusla and the HSE to devise and implement Local Community Safety Plans.
Three pilot Community Safety Partnerships are already currently being established in Longford, Waterford and Dublin’s north inner city. Following this pilot period, Partnerships will be established in every local authority area across the country.
The new Community Safety Fund will support the work of the Community Safety Partnerships and other policy initiatives in the Department of Justice in the areas of Community Safety and Youth Justice.
The Community Innovation Safety Fund would:
· Ensure that the best proposals to improve community safety will get the funding they need
· Encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand local community safety needs best
· Allow best practice on community safety to be shared with other partnerships around the country as new proposals get developed.