Minister James Browne launches Rural Safety Plan 2022-2024

Published on: 23 September 2022

The Minister of State at the Department of Justice, James Browne, has today launched the Rural Safety Plan 2022-2024 at the Ploughing Championships in Co. Laois.


The Plan brings together and strengthens all of the various strands of work being carried out in relation to rural safety. In demonstrating and highlighting the collaborative efforts made by An Garda Síochána, other State bodies, the Rural Safety Forum, community groups, and supported by the Government, the Plan seeks to enhance security in our rural areas and enforces the importance that is rightfully placed on the welfare of rural Irish communities.


The vision of the Rural Safety Plan is for people and communities in rural Ireland to feel safe and be safe in their homes, their places of work, and their local environments.


The Plan identifies 5 main priorities in relation to rural safety. They are:


1.       Community Safety

2.       Burglary and Theft

3.       Roads Policing

4.       Animal Crime

5.       Heritage Crime


The Plan outlines the key actions underway in these priority areas in an informative and accessible way and also provides useful contacts for partner organisations, groups committed to supporting victims of crime, and organisations that share the Department of Justice’s aim of advancing the safety of our people.


Speaking at the launch, Minister Browne said:


“I am delighted to be publishing the Rural Safety Plan today.


People and communities in rural Ireland deserve to feel safe and be safe. I recognise that rural safety isn’t just about the number of Garda and that community safety is a whole of Government responsibility.


That is why the Rural Safety Plan is the result of strong collaboration and brings together all of the excellent work already underway in relation to rural safety.


I want to recognise the wide-ranging and impactful work to further people’s safety and welfare that is being undertaken in rural communities across the country. Much of this work is undertaken by dedicated volunteers who admirably commit so much of their time to the benefit of our communities and our country.


I wish to thank An Garda Síochána for their input to the Plan, and the National Rural Safety Forum for their support.”


The development and publication of the Rural Safety Plan 2022-2024 is an important objective under the Department of Justice’s 2022 Justice Plan and is connected to the first goal of the Justice Plan to tackle crime, enhance national security and transform policing.


The Plan builds on the work of the National Rural Safety Forum. The Forum is co-chaired by Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman and Deputy President of the IFA Brian Rushe and comprises organisations and people with a common purpose of ensuring rural safety.