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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 22 August, 2014

UCC bumps up security with CCTV off campus

The cameras are being placed on roads just outside the university campus.

Where Donovan's Road and College Road meet.
Where Donovan's Road and College Road meet.
Image: Google Maps

GARDA-MONITORED CCTV cameras have been put in place just off University College Cork campus in order to improve safety in the area.

It was announced today that as part of a joint initiative between An Garda Sίochána, Cork City Council and UCC, three CCTV cameras have been “strategically positioned for broad coverage” near Brookfield, at the junction of Goal Walk and Highfield Avenue, and at the junction of Donovan’s Road and College Road.

The cameras have already been switched on and are monitored constantly by gardaí at Anglesea Street Garda Station.

The joint venture cost €120,000, of which the gardaí and UCC paid 25 per cent each. The council paid the balance on the bill for the cameras.

It was identified in the last 10 years that there was a need for the CCTV cameras. After the streetscape was upgraded in 2008, there was not the funding to put the cameras in, but now the funding has been gathered.

Joint venture

Michael McCormack is General Services Officer at UCC and was heavily involved in bringing the joint venture to fruition.

He explained that the CCTV will complement existing efforts in the area, and that its primary aim is “ensuring the safety and well-being of the community, which includes local residents, UCC students, staff and passersby”.

The installation of the cameras represents a small but important milestone in the on-going efforts to improve the quality of life for all who reside in or pass through the area.

A small group of people led by Superintendent Barry McPolin, with Sergeant John Ryan, Ian Winning and Aidan Mahony from Cork City Council and Michael McCormack from UCC, were the main drivers of the scheme, assisted by their relevant colleagues.

Ian Winning, Senior Executive Engineer, Transportation Division Cork City Council said that the collaboration is in line with the council’s focus on supporting more sustainable mobility.

He added:

The unique link between the city and the university, often described as ‘Town and Gown’, now has another dimension in the rebel city as CCTV and the associated fibre optic link to the city has gone live.

McCormack told TheJournal.ie that the cameras are a small but important part of the overall initiative to improve the security and environment in the local area for the residents, staff and students.

He said that the primary driver of the move would have been loud and boisterous behaviour of students at night time, which was “not very nice for our neighbours”.

He said that the CCTV would also help the gardaí to respond more quickly to incidents.

The security staff at UCC meet with the neighbours quite regularly and liaise closely with students, he said.

There is also a student community service which involves students patrolling certain areas near campus themselves in order to help neighbours and students “who might find themselves in difficulty late at night or early in the mornings”.

The students monitor the area at certain times of night on specific nights of the year.

McCormack said that there are a number of initiatives around student safety and responsible consumption of alcohol underway at UCC, while there is a focus on keeping more functions on campus.

He said that security staff have “excellent control inside the university”.

Read: Guess how many students have signed up for UCC’s alcohol-free accommodation?>

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