Crime prevention in Westmeath has received Government financial support with relevant funding being allocated to the community text alert scheme.
Addressing the issue, Longford/Westmeath TD, Deputy Peter Burke said, "local community groups who are working to prevent rural crime in Westmeath can now apply for funding under the 2018 Text Alert Rebate Scheme to assist them in their work with €150,000 being allocated by the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan for this purpose.
"This scheme allows text alert groups, registered with An Garda Síochána, to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local text alert scheme. These schemes are invaluable and ensure people can feel safe in their homes, facilitating the Gardaí to investigate any suspicious activity in real time," the Deputy noted.
The initiative is seen as a credible crime prevention mechanism with large numbers availing of the text alert scheme.
“This initiative has developed as an important crime prevention mechanism with over 600 local groups across the country involving in excess of 120,000 subscribers and with an estimated 200,000 text messages sent each month under the scheme. It’s an efficient way of tackling crime, allowing Gardaí to provide crime prevention information to community contacts who in turn forward the information to all members of a community group.
“Last year saw payments made under the rebate scheme almost double to €125,000 paid out to almost 450 groups. The majority of text alert groups who applied in 2017 received a rebate of between €200 and €350 to assist them in their work and I would urge relevant groups in Westmeath to apply for the funding this year. The Scheme will be operated by Muintir na Tíre again this year and details of how to apply are now available on their website www.muintir.ie," the Deputy concluded.