Lack of rural interest in State-funded community camera surveillance system, says ICSA

Only 4% of €3 million allocation applied for to date.

Sligo News File.

Crime hit rural Ireland is failing to avail of funding for community protecting camera surveillance systems.

Seamus Sherlock, Chairman ICSA Rural Development Committee

The ICSA said money was allocated for CCTV but to date, the take up has been “minuscule.”

A ceremony in Waterford was told that figures released by the Department of Justice show that only 4% of the €3m CCTV funding available has been used.

“Reaching the halfway point in the scheme and with only €120,000 spent indicates a problem somewhere,” said chairman of the ICSA development committee Seamus Sherlock

He said: “An urgent review needs to be carried out at this stage to see how local communities can be further assisted with utilising the scheme.

“Of particular importance is clarification as to whether the Gardaí or local authorities are responsible managing the footage collected.”

Mr. Sherlock was speaking at an event in Waterford Institute of Technology to mark the official handing over of the Agricultural Crime in Ireland reports to the Luke Wadding library. The reports were compiled by Dr Kathleen Moore Walsh, a lecturer in Law and Criminology and Louise Walsh, a lecturer in Accounting and Finance, following the ICSA/WIT Agricultural Crime Survey.

The study examined crimes that occur solely on farms or relating to farming activities.

Mr. Sherlock said the nature and scale of agriculture-specific crime have been well and truly established with the survey and subsequent reports.

“Rural people want more resources in community policing, stiffer sentences for repeat offenders and closer consultation between rural stakeholders, local authorities and An Garda Siochana,” he said.