Finglas Safety Forum

The 1st quarterly meeting of the Finglas Safety Forum took place on 9th February 2010 in the Finglas Civic Offices. An Garda Síochana made a presentation on the night on the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. This is part of an overall strategy on behalf of the Gardaí to seek to re-invigorate Neighbourhood Watch throughout the area. The following was outlined to residents:

Who can form a Neighbourhood Watch?

A representative group of people is entitled to form a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. A Community Garda liaison is appointed. A survey is conducted of
residents to ascertain their interest and explaining what is involved. The Liaison Garda organises meeting and an area coordinator is elected for each
area with a street coordinator for each street. Everybody else shares the watch. The chain of command is agreed for reporting incidences. Notification of the Neighbourhood Watch is submitted to Community Garda in Harcourt Square and are placed on a general database

What is available to facilitate local residents’ involvement?

  • Crime prevention leaflets
  • Residents can survey their own homes independently with a checklist challenge: How secure is your home?
  • Branding stickers are issued.
  • Erect neighbourhood watch signs via Local Authority.

Other matters discussed included:

  • Increase in illegal dumping in the area. People in arrears on their waste services accounts were urged to contact the Finglas Area Office where assistance is provided to pursue entitlement to a waiver if applicable and to advice people on making agreements on their arrears and thereby restore collection.
  • The increase in the amount of horses in the area
  • Concerns about Head Shops
  • Traffic complaints – illegal parking, requests for ramps etc.

It was noted with thanks that the residents had distributed crime prevention leaflets in their estates to highlight to residents the upsurge in burglaries and hints on improving securing of their homes and other property. However at the meeting in December, residents had volunteered to undertake some other initiatives but they had not followed up on these.

It is hoped this year, that the residents attending meetings will take on a more active role in promoting community safety in collaboration with An Garda Síochana and Dublin City Council as traffic requests are by far the most frequent matter brought up by residents at meetings.

The next meeting is due to take place on 11th May 2010. In tandem with the Joint Policing Sub-Committee having a work plan to guide their work over
term of the JPC and given that Safer Ballymun has already developed a community safety strategy, we hope to work with the Finglas residents to draw up some realistic goals and actionable targets for 2010.