Minister for Justice Helen McEntee today sought Government approval for the drafting of new legislation around policing and community safety.

The legislation aims to improve the performance and accountability of policing and security services.

The Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill will seek to make the safety of communities an all-of-Government responsibility.

Community Safety Partnerships will be established to bring State agencies together to achieve this.

It will also strengthen the oversight of An Garda Síochána with a new Policing and Community Safety Authority replacing the Garda Inspectorate and the Policing Authority.

It will have the power to carry out unannounced visits of garda stations as part of its inspections.

The role of the Garda Ombudsman will be expanded to include garda staff and to examine allegations that come to light other than through public complaints.

A new framework will see the Garda Commissioner become a CEO figure similar to those who lead other public sector bodies and they will be answerable to a statutory board.