Extra cash announced by Laois TD and Minister to fight rural crime at #ploughing17

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan reveals details at National Ploughing Championships

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Extra cash announced by Laois TD and Minister to fight rural crime

Laois TD and Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced extra cash to support communities in the fight against rural crime.

The Rebate Scheme, which also ran in 2016, will allow Text Alert Groups registered with the Gardaí to apply for funding to contribute towards their yearly running costs.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co Offaly Minister Flanagan said the Scheme which will be available to almost 1,000 local groups.

"My Department will be making in the region of €100,000 available to local communities who wish to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local Text Alert Scheme. We are also assisting in the prevention and detection of local crime through the recently announced grant-aid scheme to assist the establishment of community-based CCTV systems," he said.

The scheme runs for three years, with up to €1million being made available for each year of the scheme to help local communities. The application process is open.

"I urge communities to look into this, and see if it fits with their needs," said the Fine Gael TD.

Minister Flanagan said the Government's response to crime, and to burglaries in particular, has focussed on two key objectives: investing in the capacity of An Garda Síochána to tackle criminals and enforce the law effectively; and updating and strengthening the law where necessary.

"As a representative of and a native of a strongly rural constituency, I understand and appreciate the impact that Text Alert Groups and community-based CCTV systems can have in local areas. They are a perfect example of citizens working in tandem with their local Gardaí to provide a safer community for all those who live there.

"This type of work is beginning to pay off, CSO figures for 2016 show that we had a 30% drop in burglaries. Let no one have any doubt about the commitment of An Garda Siochána and this Government to ensure that we tackle crime in this
country. My Department is available to help local groups in both rural and urban areas to apply for this important funding. These schemes allow new technologies to fuse with the traditional value of active community engagement all around Ireland."

The Minister said he was very conscious that the improvements to our road network have sometimes been seen as a boon for mobile criminal gangs.

Recognising this he said further support is being provided to communities through the unprecedented investment in the Garda fleet in recent years.

"This investment has allowed Gardaí to carry out special targeted patrols against criminals committing crime inter-regionally, including a focus on the use of motorways by criminal gangs, so as to disrupt and arrest those involved. Garda numbers are also continuing to increase with a new class of Gardaí graduating this week from Templemore.”

Muintir na Tíre will also be launching a new app called ‘Cairde’ in conjunction with An Garda Siochana at the National Ploughing Championships. 

Cairde enables communities, and individuals within communities, to communicate effectively. It incorporates many practical tools such as the ability to receive Garda Text Alerts, and includes a panic button function which can monitor responses in real time.

The Community Text Alert Groups rebate scheme will once again be operated by Muintir na Tíre and details of how to apply for the Scheme are now available on their website www.muintir.ie.

The funding for Community Text Alert Groups made available this year will be reviewed again in 2018, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, as the Government continues to support crime-prevention measures in communities.

The provision of a community-based CCTV scheme was a Programme for Government commitment and also an action point contained in the Action Plan for Rural Development. Applications under the scheme can be made to the Department of Justice and Equality. The application form and explanatory material are available for download on www.justice.ie

Eligible community groups can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the applicant will receive an up-front payment of 50% of the
grant with the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational.

Muintir na Tíre's new app called ‘Cairde’ has been developed in in conjunction with An Garda Siochana at the National Ploughing Championships. 

Cairde enables communities, and individuals within communities, to communicate effectively. It incorporates many practical tools such as the ability to receive Garda Text Alerts, and includes a panic button function which can monitor responses in real time.