Confusion remains over CCTV scheme

Confusion remains over the implementation of the Community CCTV scheme in Cavan, which has been mired in data protection red tape ever since it was first proposed nationally as far back as 2018.

Grants of up to €40,000 were available from the Department of Justice under the Community Based CCTV scheme, but from the outset there was widespread criticism, from the responsibility placed on data ownership and retention to the onerous 47 pages of forms and documents to be filled out.

Only four schemes across the county have obtained final approval. An update regarding where the scheme presently stands was sought at the recent Cavan Joint Policing Committee (JPC) last Friday, June 5.

“There has been no move since Covid,” responded Garda Inspector Niall McKiernan, tasked with overseeing the process of applications and roll-out.

The meeting was told that, with An Garda Siochana ruled out, local authorities across the country had agreed to become the all important “data controller”. However, Director of Services Brendan Jennings informed the meeting he was unaware of such a development, and would need to seek clarity.

Chair of the JPC John Paul Feeley said that almost none of the money allocated to the scheme nationally had yet been drawn down, which he claimed was due to complications around the application process.

Fine Gael’s Peter McVitty added his opinion that a CCTV system might be safer in a garda station, but accepted that there was concern out there around the authorities having direct access to such information so readily.

He suggested that letter be written to the Minister on the subject, looking to smooth out the process as much as possible, which was seconded by Independent Cllr Brendan Fay.

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