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Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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 190. Mr. Spring Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue  his plans to introduce CCTV cameras in Castleisland, County Kerry. [3848/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue I am advised by the Garda authorities that no formal application has been received by the advisory committee, established by the Garda Commissioner to evaluate CCTV applications, in respect of Castleisland. I can, however, say that I received correspondence from a person in Castleisland in June 1999 requesting a CCTV system for the area. A response issued to this person the following month explaining the procedures that should be followed.

Applications for Garda CCTV systems must be prepared in co-operation with the local Garda district and divisional officers and receive their full support. Applications may then be considered by the advisory committee who make a recommendation to me in this regard.

Applications are assessed by the committee on the basis of Garda operational needs and include the following criteria; crime and public order statistics in the area; population and level of activity there; the recommendation of local Garda management and any special circumstances or needs that exist and the likely impact of a Garda CCTV system to that area. Co-funding is a feature of Garda CCTV systems and this is usually addressed when it has been decided to install a Garda CCTV system in an area.

The Deputy may wish to note that I announced late in 2000 that the number of Garda CCTV systems was to be extended. As part of the first tranche of this expansion, CCTV systems are to be installed in the following areas; Athlone, Bray, Clondalkin, Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Finglas, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Tallaght. It is [1639] intended that these ten CCTV systems will be installed and operational by the end of 2002. At least a further six areas will commence in 2003 and they will be announced in due course.

Tenders have been sought and received in respect of the town centre CCTV systems for Bray, Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Finglas, Galway and Limerick. The evaluation process is in its final stages and I hope to announce the awarding of the contracts shortly, after which work will commence immediately to put the systems in place.

The planning in respect of the town centre CCTV systems for Waterford, Athlone, Tallaght and Clondalkin is well advanced and it is expected that tenders will be invited via the EU Journal and the national newspapers within the next three months.

I am also conscious that some applications for CCTV systems that have been received by the advisory committee relate to relatively small schemes which, while of importance to the local community, cannot be regarded as a national Garda priority. I have given careful consideration to how assistance can be provided to areas which are not rated as a high level Garda priority. To this end, I plan to introduce a grant scheme soon to cater for those communities who would like to press ahead on their own with a local CCTV system. While it will be up to the local interests to install and monitor the CCTV schemes, grant assistance will be provided.

To qualify for grant aid, certain minimum standards will have to be met and the gardaí will have to be allowed access to the system when and as they require it. Local authorities will have an important role to play. The details of this new scheme are currently being finalised and full details of the scheme including relevant conditions and grant levels will be announced soon.

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