Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the value of community based CCTV schemes cannot be ignored in the debate on the future of these programmes. The Data Protection Commissioner has confirmed that the office will look into concerns which have been raised about the scheme.
The Community Based CCTV scheme, which was launched in April, provides up to 60 per cent of the cost of a CCTV system, with a maximum grant of €40,000 available.
Deputy Calleary said, “The success of these community CCTV schemes has been widely acknowleged, by the people living in the areas themselves and by local Gardaí. Not only does the presence of a CCTV system deter criminal activity, in cases where burglary or vandalism does happen, the CCTV can often prove valuable in providing evidence for the Gardaí.
“The Community CCTV schemes can also make use of Garda Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology. These cameras are linked directly to the local Garda Divisional HQ and allow Gardaí to monitor the movement of criminal gangs suspected of carrying out crime in rural communities.
“The commentary in recent days concerning data protection need to be examined and the Data Commissioner has committed to doing so. The public should be in no doubt that all data protection laws are being upheld, but commentators must be equally mindful that they are not using this argument to imply that the law is being broken.
“Community based CCTV schemes, the introduction of which was secured by Fianna Fáil under the Confidence and Supply Arrangement, have put criminals on the back foot and have made communities feel safer. It’s important that the rollout of the scheme continues to receive our support,” concluded Deputy Calleary.