Communities impacted by crime must benefit from the new Community Safety Innovation Fund – O’Dowd

22nd April 2021 - Cliona Doyle

Louth Fine Gael TD, Fergus O’Dowd, has stated that the new Community Safety Innovation Fund will not only support community safety but will be an important step in establishing a long-term process where monies are directed to communities dealing with the effects of crime.

The TD was speaking following the announcement from his colleague the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, that an agreement has been reached to establish the fund in principle as part of Budget 2022.

“The new Community Safety Innovation Fund will reflect the successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in disrupting criminal activity and seizing proceeds of crime by investing in community safety projects.

“Monies seized by the Gardaí have risen from €7.44 million in 2019 to over €16 million in 2020. In 2021 over €2 million was seized in the first month alone.

“This is an area I have been campaigning on as far back as 2003 when I first tabled a Bill in the Dáil and I recently met with the Minister for Justice in February to discuss how this might be implemented.

“I want to see the redirection of the proceeds of crime to local frontline organisations who are dealing with the devastating effects of criminality. It is only right that these communities benefit the most from these seizures.

“In the recently published Vivian Geiran ‘Community Safety & Wellbeing Scoping Report’ into Drogheda, one of Mr Geiran’s recommendations was to explore and decide how to demonstrate to local communities in a visible and practical way that money and other resources seized from organised criminals is, in effect, used to provide funding for community and other services in the same geographical areas.

“This new Community Safety Innovation Fund is certainly a step in the right direction towards ensuring that communities who have been most impacted by crime can benefit from the crackdown on that crime.”

 

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