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Joint policing committees review and white paper on crime

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, told Dessie Ellis (SF, Dublin NW) that his department was engaged in a major consultative exercise that would lead to a white paper on crime (Dail Eireann, Debates, 20th September 2011, 835).  This would set out the policy framework and future strategies to combat and prevent crime, leading to a national anti-crime strategy, in which joint policing committees would have a role.  At present, Joint Policing Committees (JPCs) operated under the Garda Siochana Act, 2005 and involved the gardai, the local authorities, Oireachtas members and the voluntary and community sector.  JPC meetings were held in public, their documents were available, any person could send questions to JPCs and committees were required to hold regular public meetings where people had the right to make their views known.  Fora could also be established to find solutions to specific issues, thus facilitating greater community interaction and these were being established in each of the 14 local drugs task force areas.  His department had commenced a review of how the committees had worked so far.