Garda Commissioner Drew Harris attended a joint meeting of Wicklow and Wexford Joint Policing Committees held in Wicklow County Council on Thursday (7th December).
The meeting, chaired by Cllr Gerry Walsh, was attended by Chief Superintendent Derek Hughes, Wicklow County Council Chief Executive Emer O Gorman, members of An Garda Siochána, elected representatives, community representatives and officials of both Wicklow and Wexford County Councils.
The purpose of the JPC is to provide a forum where the Local Authority, Senior Garda Officers, Public Representatives and Community Representatives can consult, discuss and make recommendations on matters affecting the policing of their area.
Welcoming Commissioner Drew Harris to the meeting, Cllr Gerry Walsh, Chair of Wicklow County Council JPC, joined by Cllr Michael Whelan, Chair of Wexford County Council JPC, said they were delighted to work in partnership in organising the joint meeting of both Wicklow and Wexford Joint Policing Committees.
Commissioner Drew Harris and Chief Superintendent Derek Hughes gave detailed presentations on the work of An Garda Siochána and welcomed questions from the floor. Commissioner Harris highlighted the importance of democratic accountability stating that he “recognises the roles of the elected members and how essential it is to have a strong relationship with An Garda Siochána.”
Commenting on the new Operating Model for An Garda Siochána, the Commissioner said: “An Garda Síochána Operating Model and core structures have not fundamentally changed in its history, however, our society and communities have changed in that time, and will continue to do so. We want to organise and operate in a way that continues to work for Ireland now, and into the future.”
During the questions and answers session issues raised related to recent street demonstrations, staff and equipment resources for An Garda Siochána, tackling crime and preventative policing in local communities.
Commissioner Harris and Chief Superintendent Hughes provided comprehensive responses to all questions raised and thanked those present for their engagement and participation in the meeting.
Attendees paid tribute to the work carried out by An Garda Siochána within the Wexford and Wicklow Division and commended the work of Chief Superintendent Derek Hughes since joining the division.
Emer O’Gorman, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, said: “We are honoured to welcome the Commissioner here to County Wicklow today. The Wicklow Joint Policing Committee looks forward to working together in partnership with An Garda Siochána, public representatives and members of the community in 2024 in doing our part to make our environment and communities safer places to live and work”.