Carrick-on-Shannon has launched a major campaign to install a state of the art community-based CCTV system to help maintain the town’s reputation as a safe place to live, work and visit. The initiative, which has community-wide support, will cost an estimated €110,000 and the community is seeking donations from residents, businesses and the wider Leitrim diaspora towards the costs.
A special cross-sectoral committee, chaired by Joe Dolan of the Bush Hotel, has addressed the necessary data protection, consent and technical requirements. The committee is now completing the final design specifications before going to tender in the autumn. Subject to securing the necessary finance, the project is expected to be completed in early 2018.
Commenting on the project, Joe Dolan said “Carrick is well-known as a beautiful and safe community and this is reflected in the town’s enduring popularity as a place to live, work and visit. Recent initiatives including the Purple Flag Award and the innovative Ambassador Program, which keep the town clean and tidy, have enhanced this reputation.
"Unfortunately, like many other communities, we have not been immune to crime and there have been incidents of damage to property, theft, public disorder and assault. This new system will help to deter and detect future incidents and also assist in the speedy location and recovery of missing persons, of which there have been a number of tragic incidents in our town.” Grant schemes
Mr Dolan cited experience elsewhere which has shown conclusively that the presence of public CCTV has a dramatic impact in reducing criminal behaviour while also increasing detection, prosecution and conviction rate. Until now grant schemes have been only been available to larger towns and cities.
However the Government recently announced a new scheme to assist community groups in small to medium size towns.
Under the scheme, eligible community groups can apply for grant-aid of up a maximum grant of €40,000 for the establishment of community-based CCTV systems, with the community required to raise the balance.
The proposed CCTV system for Carrick-on-Shannon comprises 11 cameras at strategic locations with number plate recognition providing almost seamless cover and 24-hour coverage of the approach roads, town centre and riverside areas. The modular system will be designed to facilitate expansion in the future.
A not-for- profit Company ‘Carrick Community CCTV Ltd’ has been established and is being advised by a community committee comprising business, residential, local authority, licenced vintners, Gardai and public representatives which will oversee the implementation of the system.
Further information on the project and donations can be found at www.carrickcctvproject.ie