The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael McDowell, T.D., has today announced major developments in the provision of CCTV systems.

Today's announcement includes:

Speaking in Tullamore today, the Tánaiste said, "CCTV schemes, both Garda operated and Community based, provide An Garda Síochána with a valuable investigative tool in the fight against crime. They are a strong deterrent to the commissioning of many crimes and are complementary to high visibility policing utilising both foot and mobile patrols.

The aim of the new scheme for older persons is to provide protection for such persons who would not normally be in a position to provide CCTV systems for themselves. These communities are sometimes affected by criminal and anti-social behaviour around their own homes. This often has a far greater impact on their quality of life than for other sections of the community. I believe that CCTV will be an important deterrent and also provide peace of mind to the residents in these areas."

 

Garda (town Centre) CCTV Schemes

Garda CCTV systems are already operating successfully in town centres including Dublin City Centre areas such as Temple Bar and the O'Connell street area as well as Tralee, Cork, Bray, Dundalk, Dun Laoghaire, Galway and Limerick.

Contracts have recently been signed by An Garda Síochána for systems to be installed in Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tullamore. Implementation of these systems has already commenced and they will be installed and operational within the next 2 months.

Tenders have also been issued by An Garda Síochána with a closing date of 24th April next for the installation of a further nine Garda CCTV Systems in Drogheda, Tallaght, Mullingar, Waterford, Portlaoise, Kilkenny, Sligo, Castlebar and Ennis. A further tender will issue very shortly for systems in Athlone, Carlow, Clonmel, Dungarvan and Kinsale. All of these schemes are expected to be installed by the end of this year.

A significant development in the approach to procurement of Garda CCTV systems is to outsource the implementation of the systems as well as their ongoing support. Therefore, issues such as planning matters are now the responsibility of the supplier while overall project control remains with An Garda Síochána. Another major advancement is the decision by An Garda Síochána to utilise, where possible, wireless technology. This will limit the need for costly and time consuming excavation works. The use of digital technology will improve the quality of images, make for easier control of cameras, allow for faster retrieval of images and reduces storage difficulties.

Community-Based CCTV Schemes

The Tánaiste announced approval for 11 groups which have sought funding under the Community Based CCTV Scheme. This Scheme is designed to provide financial assistance to qualifying local organisations towards meeting the capital costs associated with the establishment of local community CCTV systems. The Scheme operates at two levels: Stage 1 for pre-development proposals and Stage 2 for fully developed proposals. The areas and groups which have been approved grant aid for Stage 2 funding are as follows:

 

Location, Organisation

Blackpool - Cork Cork City Council

New Ross Town New Ross Town Council

Killorglin, Co. Kerry South Kerry Development Partnership (Killorglin)

Cavan Cavan County Council

Carrick-on-Suir Town Council Carrick-on-Suir Town Council

Lisduggan & Larchfield Waterford City Council

Jobstown Estate, Tallaght Jobstown Community Development Group, Tallaght

Park areas of North Clondalkin Clondalkin Partnership

Tallaght - Killinarden Get Tallaght Working Ltd t/a Partas

Liberties Area Dublin City Council (Liberties)

Tallaght - Brookfield & Fettercairn Get Tallaght Working Ltd t/a Partas

This approval now enables these Community groups to install and operate their own systems under the guidance of the Local Authorities and An Garda Síochána. Implementation will be monitored by Pobal which administers the scheme on behalf of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

The grant aid amounts to approximately 1 million Euro with matching funding in the order of 960,000 Euro provided by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for schemes in RAPID areas. The precise amount of funding will be agreed between Pobal and the Groups themselves.

CCTV Scheme for Housing Projects for Older People

The Tánaiste has announced that his Department, in consultation with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Irish Council for Social Housing, will provide capital funding for CCTV schemes in Local Authority housing schemes occupied by older persons.

This initiative will also apply to housing projects operated by not for profit organisations.

Making the announcement, the Tánaiste said "Many older residents sometimes feel vulnerable in the environs of their accommodation, particularly when collecting pensions or going for their shopping. Provision of CCTV technology in the public areas around their homes will provide them with a sense of safety and security and help prevent criminals from preying on our elderly citizens."

Because of the nature of these housing projects, 100% capital grant will be provided with projects co-funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in RAPID areas. The scheme will operate on a pilot basis initially, which will commence in the coming weeks, and will involve a total of 12 schemes with a combination of Local Authority and Irish Council for Social Housing nominated projects, a rural and urban mix as well as projects from RAPID areas.


30 March 2007