15 Aug 2022

CCTV at Portarlington playground in doubt over child protection laws

CCTV at Laois playground in doubt over child protection laws

CCTV at Laois playground in doubt over child protection laws

A request has been made to install CCTV security cameras in Portarlington playground to stop anti-social activity.

The People's Park playground in the Laois Offaly border town was recently set on fire and vandalised with estimated repairs costs at €4,000.

Sinn Féin Councillor Aidan Mullins has asked Laois County Council to put up CCTV cameras, but the council says this could be in breach of child data protection laws.

"Laois County Council is mindful of data protection concerns on the use of CCTV in playgrounds. The Council has maximised public lighting in the vicinity and continues to liaise closely with An Garda Síochana in relation to the security of the Children’s playground in the People’s Park, Portarlington," Anne Marie Maher, Laois sports officer said.

Cllr Mullins tabled a motion on the issue to the March meeting of the Graiguecullen Portarlington Municipal District.

He was not happy with the reply.

"I need more of an answer that this. There was criminal damage there recently, thanks to a few local mindless morons. There is CCTV but it's for the security of the leisure centre. This is avoiding the issue. Can Laois County Council get a definite answer from the Data Protection Commissioner that cameras won't be in breach of child protection? If they find no issue we should review this. Only the data controllor has access so I don't think there should be an issue," he said.

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