Community safety is not just the responsibility of the gardai claimed Minister for Justice Helen McEntee whilst visiting Waterford City on Friday to officially launch the Waterford Local Community Safety Partnership pilot.
The pilot Local Community Safety Partnership in Waterford is one of three such pilots established nationwide, along with Longford and North Inner City Dublin. Minister McEntee explained that the Safety Partnerships were a new approach to building stronger, safer communities.
Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD is pictured walking towards the Theatre Royal on Friday last during her visit to Waterford with Cllr. Seanie Power, Cllr. Lola O’Sullivan, Senator John Cummins and Sean Aylward, Chairperson, Waterford Local Community Safety Partnership.
“They bring the community together with state agencies and other organisations to discuss and draw up plans on how they can make their own communities safer – because they are best placed to know what their own communities need,” she explained.
These pilots, she said were built on the principle that community safety isn’t the responsibility of An Garda Síochána alone but requires a multi-sectoral approach, strong inter-agency collaboration and engagement from the community.
The Minister added that she was encouraged by the positive, collaborative work of the Waterford Local Community Safety Partnership in developing this approach to achieve stronger and safer communities in Waterford.
“The Waterford partnership has held workshops and worked on local projects already, and these will be vital in developing innovative ways to improve communities, not only in Waterford but throughout the country,” said Minister McEntee.
The pilots will run for a period of two years, and learnings from the pilot LCSPs will inform the eventual rollout of the model to every local authority area.
Minister McEntee and Senator John Cummins were warmly welcomed by Treo staff, Sinead Bartosik, Rachel O’ Regan, Linda Murphy and Danny Murphy.
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins welcomed Minister McEntee to the city on Friday when she met with court service staff at the refurbished €26 million Waterford courthouse which opened in 2018. They then made a visit to the Garda Divisional headquarters at Ballybricken. Senior Gardai briefed the minister on crime statistics, the rollout of the new operational model and the additional infrastructure required to facilitate the expansion of the various teams including the regional control room which will deal with all 999 calls for the 10 counties in the Eastern region.
Senator Cummins said “It was fantastic to have Minister McEntee visit Waterford. Visits like this are invaluable in being able to demonstrate the need for additional resourcing and investment. It makes it easier for me to present a stronger case when decisions are being made on funding. There is simply no substitute for a Minister engaging on the ground with communities.”
He continued, “Securing funding for a much-needed extension and improvement works to the Waterford Divisional HQ is a matter I have been consistently bringing to the attention of Minister McEntee over the past year and I am hopeful that it will be included on the capital plan which will be announced shortly”.
The Minister also visited Treo Port Lairge city based premises at Lacken road. Treo Port Láirge CLG is a community-based organisation that has been working with people aged from 16 since 2000. Minister McEntee learned about Treo’s work in reducing participants harmful behaviour. Treo Port Láirge CLG has been funded, since its inception, by the Department of Justice through the Probation Service.
The busy itinerary then saw the pair visit Oasis House Women’s Refuge. Senator Cummins said “It was great to bring the Minister to meet staff and clients at Oasis House women’s refuge who are doing exceptional work in supporting the victims of domestic violence. Minister McEntee has been exceptionally strong on the topic of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. I know she will be publishing a new strategy shortly to support victims, strengthen our laws and bring about the change in attitudes needed to deal with this awful violence and abuse. I know the minister is committed to implementing best practice nationally as evidenced at Oasis House,” he said.
Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD is pictured with Claire Hartley, WCCC and Director of Services, Housing, Community & Emergency Services, Ivan Grimes.
Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD is pictured with Sean Aylward, Chairperson, Waterford Local Community Safety Partnership, Geraldine Cleere, Michael Bergin and Suzanne Denieffe from SETU.