FINE Gael TD Martin Heydon has welcomed confirmation, by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, of additional funding for community CCTV schemes and Text Alert groups.
A total of €1m is to be made available in grant aid over the next three years for communities seeking to establish a CCTV scheme in their area, while €100,000 is to be provided for Text Alert Group funding.
Deputy Heydon said: “As a member of Kildare’s Joint Policing Committee sub-committee working on a new policy for CCTV schemes in the County I can see the huge benefit to community CCTV schemes around Kildare South.”
He remarked that he and fellow party councillors had met Minister Flanagan in the Dáil in July to discuss the scheme and see how it could benefit Kildare communities.
“This confirmation of funding now available is a further incentive for local communities to get involved with the scheme which merges new technologies with the traditional custom of community involvement in tackling and reporting crime.”
He also commended the very effective text alert schemes, welcoming funding for these groups. The scheme, which also ran in 2016, will see groups registered with the Gardai, being able to apply for funding to contribute towards their yearly running costs.
Deputy Heydon said: ““I know as well as anyone the positive impact text alert groups are having on rural communities and I have been updating the Minister on the excellent work being done here in Kildare by locals in tandem with the hard work of the local Garda Síochána.”
On a separate but related note, Deputy Heydon welcomed the allocation of an additional Garda to Kilcullen Station following a recent review of resources.
Garda Jonathan Brien will start in the station on October 9, joining Sgt. Mary Mulroe, Garda Joanne O’Sullivan and Garda Jim Lacy.
Deputy Heydon pointed out that since the Garda Training College in Templemore reopened in 2014, a total of 1,179 Gardai had attested nationally. Of those, 60 probationer Gardai had been assigned to the Kildare District – the highest allocation outside of the Dublin Metropolitan Region.
He said that he was continuing to liaise with the Minister and senior Gardai to ensure that Kildare South got its fair share of resources.
“As I lobbied for additional garda resources for the county, I have also argued that these additional resources needed to feed down to stations like Kilcullen to provide additional cover for the area which includes Ballymore Eustace.”
He pointed out that the government’s response to crime, and burglaries in particular, was focused on two objectives: investing in the capacity of the gardaí to tackle criminals and enforce the law properly; and updating and strengthening the law where necessary.
He welcomed continued funding to the area as well as the increase in garda numbers with new recruits consistently graduating from Templemore.