Will CCTV solve rural crime?
This was the big question at a recent crime meeting that was held at the Rustic Inn in Abbeyshrule.
“Are there any statistics on CCTV in rural towns - is there a town that has put it in and it has worked?” one local resident asked the meeting.
Superintendent Paul McDermott, Crime Prevention Officer Roscommon/Longford Garda Division, said there was a CCTV scheme in place in Longford town.
He added that it had been in operation for the last few years and had led to a number of detections since its inception.
“There is no doubt that it is of benefit; there are other schemes and we did have one in Roscommon - it is out of use at the moment, but it is in the process of getting a new town system now,” he added.
“Granard is certainly considering it at the moment but with regards to small villages, I’m not aware of any that have CCTV measures in place.”
The Superintendent said there were two systems in place - one in Tulsk, the other at Four Mile House - in Co Roscommon, but they were in the very early stages of development and it was, therefore, not possible to provide statistics on them at the present time.
The Superintendent then explained the procedures involved in CCTV schemes and added; “there is a considerable amount of work involved in CCTV schemes and permission has to be given for their operation by the Garda Commissioner under the 2005 Garda Síochána Act”.
Meanwhile, local area representative in the Granard Municipal District, Cllr PJ Reilly told those gathered that he recently attended the launch of a CCTV scheme in Duleek in Co Meath.
“It is a fantastic system and on the day we got the opportunity to see how it works,” he added.
“The system even takes in villages and other areas that are within a radius of 10 or 12 miles of the CCTV.
“There are 12 cameras in Duleek and it cost about €60k to get it installed.”
Cllr Reilly went on to say that efforts were being made at the moment to get a system installed in north Longford.
“We are trying to get a system up and running in north Longford at the moment, but it is going to take time for that to materialise,” he declared.
“There is €20,000 set aside in each of the three municipal districts in Longford for CCTV cameras and that is a great start for any town or community that is trying to get it established.”