CCTV system could reduce crime in Granard area

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

CCTV

Hopes are high Granard could benefit from a new CCTV system

Councillors at last week's Granard Municipal District meeting were very positive about the possibility of a new security system in the area, following presentations by Moran CCTV and Granard-based company Airsynergy.

Moran CCTV specialises in a high-definition megapixel system that can gather information from vehicle number plates and store it in a database to be accessed by the Gardaí when needed.

"You can search the database by partial or full plate," Mr Moran explained to the listening councillors.

"So if you type in 'D' for a Dublin plate, the database will throw up every vehicle with a 'D' registration that was picked up by the cameras."

Superintendent Brian Mohan who, along with Sergeant James Rowan, was in attendance, said that this system would drastically decrease the amount of time gardaí are spending "trawling through CCTV footage" after incidents such as the hit and run that took place in Edgeworthstown recently.

"If we had this system, more guards could be out and about instead of going through hours of footage. We could type in the partial plate, such as '07-SO' and find all the '07-SO' vehicles that went through."

His colleague, Sgt James Rowan also saw the benefit of such a system: "We could use it in two ways - crime prevention and crime detection," he said.

Also presented at last week's meeting was the possibility of using a 'smart pole' by Airsynergy. The Granard-based company have created a pole which can be controlled remotely and provide lighting or security to an area.

In this instance, James Smyth and Adrian Kelly were on hand to explain the benefits of linking the smart pole with Peter Moran's CCTV system by placing the CCTV cameras on top of the pole.

The pole itself is solar and wind-powered and in the rare cases that there is no sun or wind to power it, there is a battery inside that provides ten days worth of power.

"The poles are designed to withstand hurricane conditions. They'll withstand 170km per hour winds. Your house will go down before this will," said Mr Smyth.

Supt Mohan was also quick to point out the benefits of the smart pole, telling Mr Smyth and Mr Kelly: "You've an opportunity to become a flagship for renewable energy with this."

Councillors who were in attendance were very impressed with the presentation, saying that this would be an asset to the area.

The cost of a system like this would amount to around €38,000 for 14 cameras that would have the ability to cover an area of 45km - more if there's broadband in the area.

Supt Mohan was on hand to explain the two ways of securing the funding for such a system.
“You have two options,” he explained.

“You can go for a grant of 60% of the total cost, but you'd have to go down the route of procurement, advertising, tendering.

“Or you could go for community or private funding where you'd fast-track that whole process but have to come up with the full amount.”

All councillors in the area are prepared to look further into adopting the high-security system.

“I think this would be fantastic for the area and I think you should never let money get in the way of doing what's right for the area.

"We're all positive about this. It's the right thing to do and I think we should do it,” said Cllr Carrigy, to much agreement from his fellow councillors.

Council members will discuss the matter further before deciding on funding.