Minister Flanagan announces additional funding and extension of Text Alert Rebate Scheme
· Additional €50,000 available for local communities towards the cost of running local Text Alert Schemes
· Deadline for Rebate Scheme applications to Muintir na Tire also extended to 31st January 2018
2 January 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today (Tuesday) announced that his Department will be providing €50,000 in additional financial support to Community Text Alert Groups as a further measure in this Government’s support of crime prevention. The Rebate Scheme, which ran in 2016 and 2017, will allow Text Alert Groups registered with An Garda Síochána to apply for funding to contribute towards their yearly running costs. The new funding has been allocated to the 2017 scheme but the Minister has extended the deadline to draw down this funding to 31 January 2018.
Speaking today Minister Flanagan said:
"I am happy to announce that I have allocated additional funding available for the 2017 Text Alert Rebate Scheme and extended the application deadline to 31 January 2018. The rebate is available to almost 1,000 local groups registered under the Garda Text Alert Scheme. At the Ploughing Championships in September, I announced that my Department would provide €100,000 for the rebate scheme. However, following discussions with community groups and in response to the positive feedback on the Text Alert Scheme, I am allocating a further €50,000 as an addition to the 2017 allocation of €100,000. The funding allows a rebate on the costs of operating the Text Alert Scheme - I urge communities to learn about the scheme and to embrace it.
Minister Flanagan continued: "Community Alert, and Text Alert in particular, are perfect examples of citizens working in tandem with their local Gardaí to provide a safer community for all those who live there. I recognise that these schemes can place a financial burden on some groups, especially those with a considerable number of members. This additional rebate funding will assist with costs.
Under the Text Alert Scheme, An Garda Síochána provide information by text or e-mail to each registered “Community Contact” and they, in turn will forward the information by text or e-mail to all members of their “Community Group”. The “Text Alert” system is designed to facilitate improved communication with Community Crime Prevention Programmes. Texts / e-mails in relation to crime prevention advice / measures and important public information are transmitted through the scheme.
“Living and working, in and for, a strongly rural constituency all my life, I understand and appreciate the impact that Text Alert Groups can have in local areas. They are a vital link between the public and An Garda Síochána, and let no one have any doubt about the commitment of An Garda Síochána and this Government to ensure that we tackle crime in this country. My Department is available to help local groups in both rural and urban areas to apply for this important funding. These schemes allow new technologies to fuse with the traditional value of active community engagement all around Ireland, and I would encourage all groups to make your applications through Muintir na Tire, by 31s January 2018 to avail of this year’s rebate scheme."
Note for editors
The Community Text Alert Groups rebate scheme will once again be operated by Muintir na Tíre and details of how to apply for the Scheme are now available on their website www.muintir.ie. The funding for Community Text Alert Groups made available this year will be reviewed again in 2018, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, as the Government continues to support crime-prevention measures in communities.