Representatives of communities throughout the Midlands had the opportunity to share their experiences and hear how communities in Dublin are making their environments safer and better places to live, when they attended a Developing Safer Communities Seminar in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone last week.
Attending the seminar, organised by the Midlands Support Agency, were participants from family resource centres from Battery Heights in Athlone, Ballymahon, Ballynacargy, Boyle, Clara, Granard, Arden View in Tullamore, and Knockmay in Portlaoise, as well as representatives of the community and voluntary sector throughout the region. Also in attendance were representatives of local government, An Garda Siochana, the HSE, and a range of public agencies.
The seminar provided a forum for participants to identify practical steps that they can take towards making their communities places where people can live without fear of crime. It also examined how communities, local government, state agencies, and An Garda Siochana can lay the groundwork for future initiatives.
Gerry Doherty, manager of Midlands Support Agency, commented: “Creating safer communities is one of the biggest challenges facing our society and Midlands Support Agency is happy to be doing its part in helping communities to address this important issue.”
The seminar was facilitated by Aibhlín McCrann and Patricia Scanlon, who co-authored Safer Ballymun - a Community Safety Strategy, which was awarded a Taoiseach’s Award for Excellence in Public Service Delivery in May 2008.
The Community Safety Strategy promotes an innovative partnership-based approach to developing community safety initiatives, with a view to reducing crime and enhancing quality of life.