Roundwood Parish Hall played host to the latest public Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting. The purpose of the JPC is to provide a forum where the local authority and the senior Garda officers, responsible for the policing of that area, can consult and make recommendations on matters affecting the policing of the area and in particular to keep under review the levels and patterns of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour occurring and the factors underlying and contributing to it.
Membership of the committees consists, the Chief Superintendent, Senior Members of the Gardaí, Wicklow County Council Chief Executive, Elected Members and representatives from the voluntary and community sector. Sean Malone, board member on the farming and landowner’s panel is on the committee representing Wicklow Uplands Council.
The meeting gave the local community the opportunity to make their views known and direct questions to the members of the committee. Superintendent Paul Hogan reported that overall crime levels are down across the county compared with last year which is to be welcomed. The main issues arose by members of the public were; tackling illegal dumping, irresponsible dog ownership and subsequent damage to livestock, issues with cyclists causing long delays from Kilmacanogue to Laragh and the need for more awareness of the vulnerable people in the community.
Superintendent Paul Hogan advised that the Gardaí will be working closely with the PURE Project to install CCTV to tackle illegal dumping in problematic areas and hopefully prosecute the culprits. In relation to dog ownership Chief Superintendent John P. Quirke advised that Gardaí are not receiving a large volume of reports in relation to sheep worrying and attacks on livestock. The JPC urged that all incidents need to be reported in order for more resources to be put in place to tackle the issue more efficiently. All incidents should be reported to the local Garda station and also Wicklow County Council
Conor O’Leary from Muintir na Tíre addressed the meeting and asked that we all be more aware of the vulnerable or isolated people in the community and make an effort to drop in on them. He stressed the benefits of these people having a personal alarm in case of a fall or accident. These alarms can be sought through the Roundwood and District Community Council.
The very well attended meeting was very positive and Gardaí advised that people should always be vigilant in not leaving valuables in plain sight and locking cars and doors at night. The Chief Superintendent asked that we all ‘reduce the opportunity for crime and report all suspicious activity’. The Committee also formally launched the new Joint Policing Committee 6 Year Strategic Plan on the evening which will act as guide for their activity for the period.