Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan has raised concerns regarding the insufficient rollout of Community Closed-Circuit Television systems in communities nationwide.

The need for initiating this scheme was first detailed in the Programme for a Partnership Government. Earlier this year, €1 million in funding was allocated under the scheme to assist community groups in the establishment of CCTV in their area.

As a consequence of the data protection issues raised by representatives in Local Authorities across the country, only 20 schemes have received funding to date, with a further 4 schemes under consideration.

O’Callaghan said, “Community based CCTV systems have the real potential to prevent crime or at very least deter an escalation of burglaries, theft or aggravated assault. We know this from the small number of communities that have been afforded the opportunity to install the system.

“According to senior Gardaí working on the ground, CCTV schemes have aided policing and have helped support their ongoing work to intercept burglar gangs targeting specific rural regions.

“The difficulties relating to the appointment of Local Authority based data controllers have been thankfully rectified but a number of other barriers continue to impede the full rollout of the scheme in the communities that so badly need it.

“The Minister needs to step up consultations with the Local Government Management Agency and the County and City Management Association with a view to resolving the remaining concerns.

“Overall, Garda resources are limited and are in no way sufficient enough to be able prevent every single crime that unfolds – CCTV can work in tandem and support their good work,” he concluded.