It was well attended from the area and Garda Ollie O’Reilly was there representing An Garda Siochána.
A number of suggestions were made during the meeting on areas that we could look to improve the effectiveness of our scheme.
- Improved communication with An Garda Siochána
We have agreed on quarterly meeting between our street coordinators and a representative from our community policing team in Blanchardstown. We will also take part in a quarterly forum with other neighbourhood watch groups in the Dublin 15 area.
- Improved communication amongst ourselves
We would like to leverage some simple technology to help improve this flow and we are looking at three ways to do this:
- A simple website for the neighbourhood watch with email alerts
- Direct e-mail communication with households.
- Text alert. There is a Community Text alert scheme that allows for direct text alerts from the Gardaí. Texts are routed through approved commercial providers and there is a cost that would need to be funded. In the coming months we will come back with a recommendation for our own scheme.
Street coordinators, area coordinator and community policing team
We have been well served by an able team of street coordinators and by Liam Delaney who has acted as area coordinator since the launch of our scheme in 2010. Liam announced that he was stepping down as area coordinator and Lorcan Sheehan was appointed in his place. Street coordinators were also nominated and these are listed in our contacts page.
Our community policing team based in Blanchardstwn include Garda Ollie O’Reilly, Garda Michael McCoy and Sergeant Nicola Brady. They have been very supportive of our needs to date and we look forward to building on that relationship.
- Neighbourhood watch events
In addition to the AGM we would also like to plan on one or two additional meetings as updates for households each year. We have an offer from the Garda Crime Prevention officer to give a talk but we are open to other suggestions on what you would find useful.
- Funding for the neighbourhood watch
Our neighbourhood watch has operated for the last number of years without formal funding. Incidental expenses have been met by the volunteers and their understanding employers.
At the AGM, the need for a budget for the neighbourhood watch was discussed and people were generally in favour of same. We will continue to manage expenses carefully but items such as text alert, website and other communications will probably require us to consider a modest contribution (most likely less than €5 per annum) from households in the future.
The meeting was concluded and the area coordinator committed to providing updates to all households in the coming months