CCTV has reduced crime by ninety per cent says Burke

Fine Gael councillor Michael Burke told a meeting of the Mayo Joint Policing Committee that since the installation of CCTV in Ballinrobe there has been dramatic drop in crime in the area. Speaking at the committee, Cllr Burke said: “We had CCTV installed in Ballinrobe and we have our neighbourhood watch scheme going. A few weeks ago the Gardai informed me that in the town, crime has fallen by about 90 per cent in the area that’s covered by the scheme. Now, that’s probably the highest drop in crime rate in any part of the country. I want to say thank you to the superintendent in our area who worked very hard with us to get this and I’ve to compliment the county manager who made such substantial funds available to it.”

Garda Chief Superintendent Barry O’Brien said: ”I would fully endorse the development of CCTV in the major areas. You’re quite correct they have reduced crime, particularly in areas of public order and [other] crimes in and around those vicinities. I do welcome the recent introduction of CCTV to Achill and Westport, which is ongoing. A lot of the CCTV has come about as a result of public funds through the local authorities and community groups who put in a lot of their own funds in Achill.”

Chief Superintendent O’Brien also outlined to the meeting ambitious plans that the Gardai in the county have in relation to the text alert scheme and the GPS plotting of vulnerable people. He told the meeting: “In relation to text alerts, there’s a lot of work being undertaken across the division on this. Sgt Regina Carley in Claremorris has done extensive work in bringing all of the south Mayo area and the Swinford District together. I think it’s upwards of 1,100 in that area on the text alert. It’s an important system, it’s the eyes and ears on the ground for us.”

The Superintendent also told the meeting: “We’re undertaking another initiative in relation to vulnerable people in the county, we are looking to try and get the GPS co-ordinates for all vulnerable residents across the county so we could have them recorded. We are hoping to bring in a new communications system, within our divisional communications centre which provides a map of the county and we can flag all the co-ordinates, which means then in the event of someone elderly or vulnerable who has need to call us, we wont be found wanting. It’s something we hope to progress.”

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