146. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the provisions he will put in place before approval of grants for CCTV in towns and villages; the person or body that will carry out the role of data controller; his views on whether this matter should be carried out by the local authorities, An Garda Síochána or Garda-vetted persons in the local community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7691/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that, in April 2017, in pursuance of a Programme for Government commitment, a Community-based CCTV grant-aid Scheme was launched by my Department to assist groups in the establishment of community-based CCTV systems in their local areas.
Under the Scheme, eligible community groups can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the applicant will receive an up-front payment of 50% of the grant with the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational.
The requirements of the scheme are based on similar requirements that applied to the previous grant scheme operated by my Department between 2005 and 2013 which assisted with the establishment of some 45 systems.
The key requirements for the establishment of such systems are statutorily based and require that the proposal 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 – this is a long-standing statutory requirement, set out in the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 289 of 2006), for the establishment of community CCTV systems generally, and
- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner in accordance with Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
Full details of the Scheme, including guidelines, application forms, code of practice and other relevant documentation are all available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie.
I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders and I would encourage interested groups to avail of the Scheme.