Security cameras in Portarlington would record passing criminals and cost less than the salary of a new Garda, says Cllr Tom Mulhall, who argued for funding at the November council meeting, to no avail.
He wants €15k of the €100,000 Town & Village Renewal Scheme cash for Port to be spent on two sets of CCTV cameras either end of main street, at Market Square and Kilnacourt roundabout.
“The provision of CCTV cameras is not within the remit of Laois County Council, this is an issue for the Garda Siochána,” said the council's director of services Gerry Murphy.
“New cameras can pick up registration plates. Garda resources are limited, we don’t see them walking on the street. This would be hugely beneficial,” said Cllr Mulhall.
“The town has a population of over 10,000, with huge traffic from Tullamore, Dublin, Portlaoise and Edenderry. Cameras would pick up people after they committed a crime or going to commit one. Sergeants have been on at me to push this, I’ve been on to the local Minister too,” Cllr Mulhall said.
“We can follow it up with the Joint Policing Committee, we'll have to get a permit, planning permission, and department funding,” said Cllr Padraig Fleming.
Cllr Aidan Mullins suggested they use part of their discretionary €3k budgets.
“It’s great to see money spent in Port. It’s essential we get CCTV, but this money can’t be diverted,” he said.
Port is getting new visitor signage and landscaping, the undergrounding of cables in Market Square and an upgrade to the Barrow bridge among improvement works.