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Cross-border community event examines ‘Effective Policing through Partnership’

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Civic leaders, voluntary bodies and law and justice agencies from both sides of the border and Great Britain came together at a major event today (9th February 2017) to examine how better partnerships can be created between communities and police.

Organised by Camlough Community Association and Muirhevnamor Community Youth Project, with support from the International Fund for Ireland, the ‘Effective Policing through Partnership’ conference provided insight on how three police services have built local trust and addressed sensitive issues.

The cross-border conference included a debate on policing approaches that was chaired by Restorative Justice in the Community and featured senior officers from Greater Manchester Police, An Garda Síochána and PSNI.

Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, said:
“It is no exaggeration to say the relationships between communities and policing bodies profoundly affect social progress. They shape our impression of individual and community safety and our willingness to move forward and take risks for peace.

“Policing and justice remain among the most complicated and challenging social issues. We know in some areas there remains a trust deficit between communities and policing bodies and great care will be needed to introduce progressive initiatives. But we must always presume that change can be made and for that to happen the cooperation and support of local communities will be critical.”

Declan Murphy, project coordinator at Camlough Community Association said:
“Positive partnerships mean better police services and ultimately safer communities. This conference looks at the types of relationships that work best in specific areas and asks how better engagement can occur elsewhere.

“Today’s event is about creating the space for new ideas, dialogue and for the lessons of successful partnerships to be shared. There is no blueprint for this type of work and it is pleasing welcome differing perspectives from the communities and Community Restorative Justice alongside the PSNI, An Garda Siochána and Greater Manchester Police.”

The ‘Effective Policing through Partnership’ took place at Crowne Plaza, Dundalk and was coordinated as part of a 12-month cross-border and cross-community project undertaken by Muirhevnamor Community Youth Project and Camlough Community Association.

It has provided young people from the north Louth and south Armagh with opportunities to discuss and understand a range of sensitive issues including community influences; diversity; rights and responsibilities; and community leadership.