Tuesday, 24th April 2018
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On Tuesday 20th March, members of Waterford Business Group and business owners, met with Waterford Garda. The annual meeting took place in Boxworks co-working space, in Patrick Street.

The meeting was attended by around 40 business owners, as well as Superintendent Chris Delaney, Sgt Brendan Roche, Sgt Finbar O’Sullivan and Peter Clifford, from Waterford City and County Garda Station, in Ballybricken.

The evening was hosted by WBG Chair Michael Garland. During his introduction Michael gave an overview of some of the tireless work carried out to date, by the voluntary members of the Business Group. In particular he focused on this year’s City in Bloom, the Retail Watch Scheme, City Safe, #AskForAngela, Purple Flag and the need for people and businesses to work together, for the betterment of Waterford.

The 2018 City in Bloom is expanding for the fourth year in a row. People will see over 400 hanging baskets displayed across the City Centre, through Ferrybank and in the Ballinakill Shopping Centre. This mammoth under taking is carried out in conjunction with Waterford Council and has a very positive effect on the marking, for the annual Tidy Towns competition. In addition, all of this year’s floral display will include "Bee-Friendly" or pollinator attracting flowers. Thanks to the Business Group, Waterford City will become one of the first Cities in Ireland to undertake such an environmentally positive project.

Waterford’s Retail Watch continues to be very successful in the sharing of information amongst participants. The closed, members only app was invaluable during Storm Emma and the visit of "The Beast from the East".

The main focus of the 90 minutes seminar was of course the interaction with senior members of Waterford Garda. Sgt Brendan Roche delivered a presentation on how to future proof and guard your business against possible theft. Superintendent Chris Delaney then updated the audience on some crime statistics, over the last few years, for Waterford City Centre. These showed improvements in the main performance indicators and highlighted a numbers of areas where improvements were still being sought.

Once the presentations were finished there was ample time allocated to a very interactive question and answer session. The topics openly discussed included; City Centre safety, Garda Business Watch, Garda resourcing, CCTV, begging, drugs abuse, car parking, criminal sentencing, barring orders and continually feeding crime information directly to the Garda.

Summing up the evening Michael Garland stated, "It is great to get such access to our senior Garda. We are very lucky, in Waterford, that we have such a good working relationship members of the Force. This was an opportunity for business owners can come together and meet the actual law enforcers, in an environment that was conducive to an honest, open and frank discussion. There can be no doubt that in order to keep Waterford safe and secure, we ALL have to play our part. This means everybody has to work closer together and the sharing of information is critical. Crimes MUST be reported.

By reporting crimes we can help resource our Garda and add to the numbers on the beat. Through our work, we have already seen increased Garda resources coming to Waterford and we need to keep up the pressure to secure additional fiscal funding for yet more, as our future population expands.

We would like to thank Waterford Garda for attending and of course the businesses, who also came to Boxworks. Businesses do not have to feel that they are alone. We must make that extra effort, to become a community that stands up to criminals, to ensure we have the safest City in Ireland."

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