Laois communities receive funding to fight crime with CCTV

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Laois communities receive funding to fight crime with CCTV

Communities in south Laois are set to benefit from funding to install CCTV in 2020 after the Department of Justice cleared their applications last week.

Community alert schemes in Woodenbridge and Dongaghmore received the green light last week for Community CCTV grants to help prevent crime in their areas.

Woodenbridge will receive an installation grant of €8,040 and maintenance support of €5,000 for maintenance. The group wants to erect 12 cameras on five sites.

Miche G Phelan praised Minister Charlie Flanagan, Laois County Council's CEO John Mulholland the Gardaí, in particular, Garda Sergeant Joe Culliton for the assistance given.

Meanwhile, Donaghmore community alert is getting €17,409 for installation and €5,000 for maintenance. The group wants to install 10 cameras at eight sites.

Group member Brendan Phelan said it had been a long campaign but welcomed the grants and said work would begin soon.

Both groups have already banked substantial cash through local fundraising as they had to raise 40% of the cost.

“In addition to the funding approved for Mountmellick CCTV earlier this week, I am happy to announce that funding for two further CCTV Schemes in Laois have been approved today by my Department. Funding has been allocated to Woodenbridge Community District and Donaghmore Community Alert," said Minister Flanagan

Just two Laois community CCTV schemes remain in legal limbo while most are in the process of being on solid ground when it comes to the legitimacy of the operation. Laois Gardaí have confirmed that the Errill and Cuddagh schemes have yet to enter a stage where they are operating within data protection laws.

All the other operational schemes in Laois have engaged with Laois County Council to a point where their legal status should be guaranteed by the spring of 2020.

These schemes are Dunmore, Durrow, Shanahoe, Ratheniska and Borris-in-Ossory.

A process has been established whereby the council will formally become the legal data controller for their schemes making them legal.

The status of CCTV plans for Clonaslee, Mountrath and Castletown is not known.