175. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Justice the current processing time for applications made by local authorities for authorisation to operate a CCTV system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12342/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, decisions in relation to the introduction or extension of Garda CCTV systems are, by law, matters for the Garda Commissioner. As Minister, I have no responsibility for these decisions.
Community-based CCTV is governed by Section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (SI 289 of 2006). This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must:
- be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,
- have the prior support of the relevant Local Authority, which must also act as data controller, and
- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.
This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes, regardless of how they are funded. These key legal requirements have not changed since 2006. The option to establish a Community CCTV scheme is available to groups that meet these legal requirements, anywhere in the country. Decisions in relation to the introduction or extension of Garda CCTV systems are matters for the Garda Commissioner and not for me as Minister.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that CCTV applications are processed and reviewed by the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau prior to their consideration by the CCTV advisory Committee and a recommendation being made to the Garda Commissioner as to their suitability for authorisation. Due to the varied nature and size of applications, it is not possible to give a generic timeframe on processing an application as all applications are different.
In general, delays in processing applications are mainly caused by applications which are incorrectly made, or applications missing required information. Applications received with errors or omissions cannot be considered for approval, and must be returned to the applicant to be rectified, resulting in additional delays.