The National Rural Safety Forum has announced plans for National Community Engagement Week 2023 – its biggest ever series of events – running from 22-26 May.
Previously run over the course of just one day, this expanded week-long series will see hundreds of events taking place in communities all across Ireland, giving people a chance to get to know their local Gardaí and other representatives in their areas.
Welcoming the launch, Minister for State at the Department of Justice, James Browne, said, “everyone deserves to be safe and, just as importantly, to feel safe at home, at work, and just going about their daily lives. I’m proud to say that we live in a relatively safe country. We have robust laws and creative and practical initiatives in place to support Gardaí and local communities.”
“National Community Engagement Week is a chance for people from all over the country to meet their local Gardaí and other brilliant people working and volunteering in community initiatives in their area. I look forward to meeting as many people as I can during the week.”
The National Rural Safety Forum is a national collaborative partnership between State agencies and other organisations with a common vision of ensuring people and communities in rural Ireland feel safe and are safe in their homes, places of work, and their local environments.
Each day of National Community Engagement week will be themed, covering different angles of rural living including:
- Community Safety
- Road & Pedestrian Safety
- Burglary & Theft, Heritage Crime
- Personal Safety & Wellbeing
- Farmer & Rural Safety
Minister of State James Browne added, “this is a particularly important event for rural communities. It is the first such event since the publication of the National Rural Safety Plan 2022-2024 and it is the first time that the event has spanned the course of a week. This should reassure people in rural Ireland that the safety of every community is an absolute priority for me, the Department of Justice, and our partners in the National Rural Safety Forum.”
IFA Deputy President and Co-Chair of the National Rural Safety Forum, Brian Rushe, said, “it is vitally important that communities works together to serve the best interests of people at risk and the National Rural Community Engagement Week is the perfect platform for this. IFA are very pleased to be working with An Garda Síochána and members of the National Rural Safety Forum on this great initiative and are urging all communities to come out to support this programme.”
Chaired by An Garda Síochána and the IFA, and supported by the Department of Justice, the Department of Rural and Community Development, Muintir na Tíre, AgriKids, and a range of State agencies and representative groups, the Forum’s focus on rural safety is laid out in the National Rural Safety Plan 2022-2024.
The purpose of the Forum is to develop a nationwide network for the distribution of crime prevention advice, increase engagement within communities and prevent and reduce opportunities for crime.
The series of events, organised by the Rural Safety Forum, is an opportunity for communities to get to know their local Gardaí and local community representatives.