Community alert groups encouraged to apply for funding - Burke

Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael deputy, Peter Burke, is urging Community Text Alert groups to apply for Government funding.

The Department of Justice and Equality has announced it will be providing additional financial support to these invaluable local groups as the latest measure in its support of crime prevention in rural communities.

The Rebate Scheme, which also ran in 2016, will allow text alert groups registered with An Garda Síochána to apply for funding to contribute towards their yearly running costs.

Peter Burke said: “My Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, will be making in the region of €100,000 available to local communities who wish to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local Text Alert Scheme.

“I know many communities here in Westmeath are very active in using the system for crime prevention, such as Milltownpass, Cloughan and Rathconnell, and I would like to commend the excellent work of the people involved in safeguarding our local communities.

“I know as well as anyone the positive impact text alert groups are having on rural communities and I have been updating the Minister on the excellent work being done here in Westmeath by locals in tandem with the hard work of the local Garda Síochána. Text alerts are also being utilised extensively by the farming community, and local farmers in Mullingar recently highlighted this to Minister Michael Creed when he was in the constituency for a farm information evening.”

The Department is assisting in the prevention and detection of local crime through the recently announced grant-aid scheme to assist the establishment of community-based CCTV systems. This scheme will run for three years, with up to €1million being made available for each year of the scheme to assist local communities. The application process is now open.

“The provision of CCTV schemes will assist in the prevention and reduction of local crime, disorder and anti-social activity and increase community involvement to prevent and reduce crime in local areas,” Deputy Burke added. “These schemes allow new technologies to fuse with the traditional value of active community engagement to keep Westmeath safe.”

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