A initiative which give the public an chance to question gardaí on crime has been watered down as a result of the reform of local Government.
Joint Policing Committees are made up of senior gardaí, politicians, council officials and other public representatives. Up to the last local elections there were three Joint Policing Committees (JPC) in Laois - one for the county and one each for Portlaoise and Mountmellick.
This meant that there 12 meetings each year where local gardaí gave a public update on crime an policing. All meetings were open to the media and three were open to the public.
However, ot has now emerged that there will be just four meetings a year one of which will be open to the public. All meetings will be open to the media.
The committee is administered by Laois County Council. A spokesperson said ‘revised guidelines’ be only one JPC.
There was no meeting of an JPC in Laois since last Spring because of the reform.
At its first meeting the new committee was given an outline of its functions and aims.
“Laois County JPC will not become a talking shop,” said the code of practice and terms of reference.