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Delayed rollout of local CCTV cameras across the country criticised

Only 20 local CCTV schemes have received government funding despite €1 million being available.

Image: Shutterstock/Ed Samuel

FIANNA FÁIL HAS called on the government to speed up the installation of CCTV cameras to help local communities combat crime. 

Earlier last year, €1 million in funding was allocated to assist local community groups to install Community Closed Circuit-Television in their area under the government’s confidence-and-supply agreement with the party. 

The maximum grant available under the scheme is €40,000 and it is intended the scheme will run over three years. 

Due to data protection issues raised by council representatives and a complicated application process, however, only 20 schemes have so far received funding with a further four schemes currently under consideration.

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan has said that similar CCTV schemes have proven successful in communities where it has been installed and is calling on the government to speed up the “full roll-out” of local CCTV.

“It’s a complicated scheme…it’s very difficult to do. That’s partly the reason why numbers are so low,” O’Callaghan has said. “The money is available but the money isn’t being taken up. There needs to be a political will. But also they need to make it simpler.

Aside from that, the government should be rolling this out themselves on behalf of the Gardaí.

Some local representatives remain unconvinced that CCTV is the solution to preventing and tackling crime in certain areas, though. 

Green Party councillor for Dublin’s north inner city Ciarán Cuffe has said that CCTV is “not the panacea” to tackling crime.

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Often it is installed as a short-term measure in communities while other underlying issues remain unresolved. 

“It can be used to deter (illegal) dumping but in the case of Gardaí monitoring I haven’t seen evidence that Gardaí have sufficient resources to monitor [it].”

Fianna Fáil’s O’Callaghan says that, while CCTV won’t solve crime in urban areas, in rural areas “it provides a greater sense of security” and acts as “a deterrent to people who are intending to commit crime.”

“There’s no one measure that solves crime. But it is an important feature of public safety.”

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