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The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the establishment of Joint Policing Committees (JPC). It does this against the background of a rapidly changing Ireland and with the awareness that not only central government must respond to the issues faced by local communities.
The County Galway JPC was formally established on the 28th September 2009 when it held its inauguration meeting in the Council Chamber of Galway County Council. The JPC consists of 25 members who include; elected members of the Local Authority, members of the Oireachtas, members of the Garda Síochána and representatives from the community and voluntary sector of County Galway.
The JPC's function is to serve as a forum for consultations, discussions and recommendations on matters affecting the policing of the local authority's administrative area, and in particular:
1. Keep under review –
i. The levels and patterns of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour including the misuse of alcohol and drugs
ii. The factors underlying and contributing to the levels of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
2. Advise the local authority concerned and the Garda Síochána on how they might best perform their functions having regard to the need to do everything feasible to improve the safety and quality of life and to prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour within the area.
3. Arrange and host public meetings concerning matters affecting the policing of the local authority’s administrative area
4. Establish, in consultation with the local Garda superintendent, as the committee considers necessary within specific neighbourhoods of the area, local policing fora to discuss and make recommendations to the committee concerning matters that it is to keep under review under paragraph (a) or on which it is to advise under paragraph (b), in so far as those matters affect their neighbourhoods, and
5. Co-ordinate the activities of local policing fora under paragraph (d) or otherwise.