LAOIS/Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan has called for more CCTV systems to be installed in the region in an attempt to tackle the high level of burglaries.
The Fine Gael TD is asking the garda commissioner to support local communities who wish to install and operate CCTV in their towns and villages. Deputy Flanagan raised the issue in the Dail recently following on from the recent publication of figures by the Central Statistics Office.
“There is a certain fear factor evident in many rural communities as a result of the increase in burglaries,” said Deputy Flanagan.
“In my own constituency in Laois/Offaly, there was a 32% increase in recorded break ins last year. I acknowledge the fact that gardai are working with less resources as a result of the financial situation.”
The deputy said the Minister for Justice is attempting to address garda numbers by making the most of new technologies and communications systems. There is also an increased focus on ensuring that gardaí spend less time on administration work and more time out on the beat. Local communities have responded in a positive manner with the formation of Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch Groups.
“The garda commissioner and local authorities have an opportunity to interact with communities by facilitating the roll out of these systems,” he said. “The Garda Siochana Act 2005 already provides for this. A code of practice has also been published by the Department of Justice which assists operators of the CCTV scheme to act in accordance with the law. This code should also maintain public trust and confidence in this system.
“Now more so than ever we need a joined up thinking between communities, gardai, local authorities and the Department of Justice to restore public order and reduce crime levels especially in rural areas,” he concluded.