Community groups urged to apply for CCTV funding

Westmeath communities are set to benefit from a new grant scheme for community CCTV, details of which are to be announced shortly.

Under the scheme, eligible community groups can apply for grant aid of up to 60 per cent of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the applicant will receive an up-front payment of 50 per cent of the grant with the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational.

Some of the key objectives of the scheme are to enhance existing policing provision within the community, to assist in the prevention and reduction of local crime, disorder and anti-social activity and to increase community involvement in the provision of legitimate, integrated responses to prevent and reduce crime in local areas in association with appropriate agencies.

These CCTV systems will act as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour and enhance existing policing provision in Westmeath. It is intended that the scheme will run for three years with funding of €1 million being made available each year.

Local Fine Gael councillor, Tom Farrell, said: “I am delighted to see the Government following through on the commitments set out in the Programme for Government. We will also continue to work with Garda management and the Policing Authority to implement reforms that will provide greater confidence, protection, transparency, and efficiency to crime reduction, detection and prosecution, here in Westmeath.

Longford-Westmeath Independent Deputy, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, said that towns and villages across Longford-Westmeath should be equipped with CCTV cameras in an effort to combat the scourge of criminal gangs roaming the countryside.

“CCTV cameras have proven time and time again to be an extremely effective way of preventing crime and communities must be encouraged, in co-operation with local gardaí, to install them at strategic locations,” said Deputy Moran.

“I welcome the action being taken by the Minister involved, Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald on this element of the Programme for a Partnership Government and look forward to increased investment in CCTV systems for communities, both urban and rural.”

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