Demand for CCTV in every town

There's been a demand for CCTV camera to be installed in every town across the county.

The motion was put forward by Cllr Winston Bennett who believes the introduction of cameras will alleviate anti-social behaviour.

Speaking at the Ballyjamesduff Municipal District Meeting last week, the Fine Gael representative referenced a tractor and slurry tank that was stolen in the south of the country in recent weeks, which was later recovered after CCTV footage from the area was reviewed.

“If it hadn’t been for cameras, it would never have been found,” he stated.

Agreeing with his party colleague, Cllr TP O’Reilly deemed the motion “very good” and mentioned the town of Ballinagh which has CCTV in operation. He said it is doing a “great job” in terms of deterring anti-social behaviour.

He stated that CCTV is “vital at this stage, especially when you see so much violence and theft".

Members of the meeting agreed the footage needs to be located in the local garda station and regularly monitored.

In response to the motion, senior executive engineer, John McGahern, highlighted an incident that occurred down the country last year. He said the local authoritoy was sued for a six-figure sum following issues that arose relating to a breach of data protection legislation after accessing CCTV footage.

In response, T.P. O’Reilly said: “This GDPR is used when it wants to be used.”

He further referenced the fatal hit and run, which occurred on the N3 last year, which resulted in the death of local man, Frank Nulty.

Cllr O’Reilly stated that gardaí accessed CCTV footage from businesses in the area in order to identify the driver of a particular vehicle, who is before the courts.

“There's no question of GDPR for very serious crimes but they won’t do it for mediocre crimes,” he surmised.

Members agreed to bring the motion forward to the next Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting.