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Community Policing


What is Community Policing?

Community policing in Ireland is a partnership based, pro-active, community-orientated style of policing. It is focused on crime prevention, problem-solving and law enforcement, with a view to building trust and enhancing the quality of life of the entire community.

Community Gardaí engage in community partnership building, to enhance delivery of the Garda service within communities. Such engagement is a joint process requiring An Garda Síochána and community groups, to work together, to improve the ‘quality of life’ of people in those areas and to reflect their needs and priorities. The establishment of partnerships at local level should be seen as a cooperative effort to facilitate problem-solving. The problems presented to and faced by An Garda Síochána cannot be solved by the Gardaí working alone. Crime and the prevention of crime is everybody’s business.

Community Gardaí are required to be proactive, in building positive partnerships, through initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert, Campus Watch, Hospital Watch, Garda Clinics, Supporting Safer Communities Campaigns, Garda Schools Programme, etc. Flexible engagement practices are required to cater for individuals, community groups and can ultimately lead to a community being empowered. The establishment of partnerships at local level should be seen as a co-operative effort to facilitate problem-solving.

community_____Our Community Policing Objectives

  • To engage in partnership opportunities (e.g. JPC, Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert, local policing fora, various retail fora, Business Watch)
  • To provide an accessible and visible Garda service to communities.
  • To establish effective engagement processes to meet the needs of local communities and provide feedback to communities.
  • To use problem-solving initiatives, devised in partnership with communities and local agencies, to tackle crime, drugs, public disorder and anti-social behaviour, through targeted enforcement, crime prevention and reduction initiatives.
  • To engage in a community-focused approach to provide solutions that reduces the fear of crime.
  • To engage meaningfully with young people to develop and foster positive relationships and promote personal and community safety.
  • To enhance communication strategies that articulate community policing objectives and outcomes.
  • To be accountable to the community we serve.
  • To work in partnership with other agencies ensure safety on our streets and roads.


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An Garda Síochána’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme for Community Policing

To support Community Gardaí with community engagement, a National Community PolicingOffice, attached to the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement, captures best practice in community policing initiatives and will disseminate these practices through its communication network. This office serves as a resource, for all Garda personnel who are engaged in Community Policing, offering advice on community engagement techniques and initiatives.

Under An Garda Síochána’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme(2016-2021) one of the initiatives is to introduce multi-skilled Community Policing Teams or Sector Teams in every District to support Community Policing Gardaí.  Community Policing Teams /Sector Teams will be made-up of Gardaí from a number of different units (including Community Policing Units) who will work with the local community to prevent and detect crime. Maintaining and building on our strong tradition of community policing will be at the core of this plan.

A new community policing framework is currently being developed and will enhance community engagement and public safety. New Community Policing Teams/Sector Teams will work with local communities to prevent and detect crime in their locality supported by Community Safety Fora made up of local Gardaí, members of the public and community groups.

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National implementation of this new community policing framework is intended to take place between now and 2021. Currently the entire country is being mapped out using the Central Statistics office tool SAPMAP which approximately maps out the country down to community policing areas between 50 and 150 households. This first phase has commenced and will continue, followed by phase two  which involves the identification of community policing geographic areas across all of Ireland in consultation with local Chief Superintendents. Phase three will involve the evaluation of required resources nationally followed by training and first stage deployments based on available resources with a view to full deployment by 2021.

Central to this development is also the establishment of Divisional Community Policing Offices in each of our 28 Garda Divisions. These offices will be critical to the efficient and effective implementation and on-going management of the Community Policing Teams/Sector Teams and the defined and dedicated ‘Community Areas Policing’ approach in each District and Division. These offices will transform the existing service provided to communities by all Gardaí in line with the Garda Síochána Code of Ethics. Each Divisional Officer will be responsible for providing services to local communities and establishing a Divisional Community Policing Office in order to standardise the delivery of Community Policing. The day-to-day supervision of the Divisional Community Policing Office will be the responsibility of the local Chief Superintendent.

National Conference of the Joint Agency Response to Crime (JARC) on the 25/9/18 Contact the National Community Policing Office press release is available here.

Garda Bureau of Community Engagement,

Garda Headquarters,

Harcourt Square,

Dublin 2 D02 DH42

Tel: +353 1 666 3806/08/09