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Question

326. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding streams and grants she provides for the installation of closed-circuit televison systems by community and resident groups and by local authorities. [40294/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 lays down the conditions governing the operation of CCTV schemes in public areas. This includes the need for all such CCTV schemes to be authorised in writing by the Garda Commissioner. CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention, and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access such as town centres, fall into two categories: Garda CCTV systems and community-based CCTV systems.
Garda CCTV systems are planned and implemented on the basis of the identified operational needs and priorities of An Garda Síochána. Accordingly, decisions in relation to the introduction or extension of such systems are a matter for the Garda Commissioner. The Garda authorities inform me that they keep the current Garda CCTV arrangements under ongoing review in the context of changing operational requirements. As regards community-based CCTV, a scheme was launched in 2005 which provided financial assistance to qualifying local organisations towards meeting the capital costs associated with the establishment of a local community CCTV system. Two rounds of funding were advertised under that scheme and a total of €3.76m was allocated to fund 43 Community Schemes. The last of that funding was paid out in July 2013.
I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV. With this in mind, I have instigated a review of the effectiveness of the Community CCTV Scheme in conjunction with the Garda authorities. The outcome of that review will inform future decisions on the continuation of the Scheme. The Deputy may also be aware that my colleague, the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, has recently made an announcement in relation the provision of CCTV in rural areas, which is to be funded from the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.