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Question

96. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she, independently or in conjunction with other Departments or agencies, administers supports such as information, advice or grant assistance to householders on safety and security issues, particularly in the context of burglaries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42378/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): My Department does not provide grant assistance to householders of the type referred to by the Deputy. However, there are extensive measures supported by my Department and by An Garda Síochána to provide information and advice for householders and communities in relation to home security and crime prevention generally. I recently announced a doubling of the funding for Crime Prevention Initiatives supported by my Department, including the important work carried out by Crimestoppers and the Community Alert programme, and a total of €397,000 will be provided for this purpose in 2016.
My Department has for many years provided funding to support the Community Alert Programme, which is operated by Muintir na Tire in partnership with An Garda Síochána. This funding is not used to provide direct assistance to local Community Alert (or Text Alert) Groups, but is allocated for the employment and associated costs of the national Community Alert programme, including the employment of regional Development Officers. These Development Officers provide support to Community and Text Alert schemes and offer advice on how to establish new schemes. The long-standing view has been that this is the best use of the resources available to the Department to support effective community crime prevention actions.
An Garda Síochána provide extensive crime prevention and home security advice as part of their Community Policing role. In addition, Garda crime prevention officers are available to give advice to householders, community groups and businesses and there is also a range of crime prevention advice published on the Garda website.
As part of the recently announced drive to counteract burglary under Operation Thor, An Garda Síochána have implemented a public awareness campaign to inform people on how they can enhance the security of their homes and property. The theme of the campaign is "Lock Up. Light Up." and includes a national and local advertising campaign including coverage on radio, in newspapers and on social media, including An Garda Síochána's social media channels which have over 300,000 followers. In addition, crime prevention officers are currently distributing 100,000 leaflets with key information and An Garda Síochána are using all media opportunities on local and national radio to promote the campaign.
The media campaign ran initially during the week of 16 November 2015 and it is envisaged that it will run again in January and February 2016.