A new Oireachtas report on rural crime has recommended that Gardaí use social media to engage with isolated communities.
The Joint Committee on Justice and Equality has found that rural Ireland needs additional policing with better resourcing to reduce crime and raise confidence in An Garda Síochána.
The 96-page report has made 20 recommendations.
It has called on the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána to implement the recommendations on community policing, made by the Commission on the Future of Policing in its 2018 report.
It also said the commission's model for district community policing could be strengthened "by assigning a dedicated officer or unit as a first point of contact for each community".
It has also recommended that rural areas that lost Garda stations, and a regular police presence, during the financial crisis should have vacant positions filled and receive priority for new resources.
This should include redeploying Gardaí from administrative posts to front-line district roles.
The report also said Gardaí should place "renewed emphasis on early intervention, risk assessment and crime prevention" aimed at young people - in cooperation with Garda Youth Diversion Projects.
And it said officers need better training and 24/7 specialist support for managing people with mental health issues who are self-harming or harming others.
Part of its recommendations to reduce rural crime include a boost for rural patrolling and holding regular meetings in community centres to counteract social isolation.
Communities should also install CCTV monitoring, with the assistance of more advance funding and streamlined grant applications.
"Legislation could clarify the role of State agencies in oversight of CCTV schemes and data management", the report said.
And it said Gardaí should use social media more effectively to drive engagement with isolated communities.
Justice Committee Chairman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said: "The committee strongly believes that the philosophy of community policing should underpin policing practice in Ireland."
"Community policing promotes local problem-solving strategies to address the underlying causes of crime, whilst also addressing the fear of crime by providing reassurance to communities.
"Proactively addressing problems within communities, rather than reacting to crimes already committed, should become the organising principle of police activity."
Read the full report here