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  • Northside East

CCTV demanded to reduce crime in Fingal town

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018 8:00am
CCTV demanded to reduce crime in Fingal town
CCTV demanded to reduce crime in Fingal town

Shauna Bowers

A NORTHSIDE councillor has called for the implementation of CCTV along the main thoroughfare of Balbriggan.  

Cllr Tony Murphy (IA) made the call at a Balbriggan/Swords area committee meeting. 

Cllr Murphy believes the committee needs to work with the gardai to implement CCTV in the town due to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

A silent protest against the increase in anti-social behaviour took place at Balbriggan Garda Station in November 2017. 

There was a turnout of over 700 local residents and 467 of those signed a petition demanding that the gardai and local authorities act on the issue.

At the committee meeting, Cllr Murphy said the key intention of the scheme would be “to increase community involvement in the provision of legitimate, integrated responses to prevent and reduce crime in local areas in association with appropriate agencies”.

“I believe there is an issue with the gardai about delivering enough boots on the ground to actually make an impact,” Cllr Murphy told Northside People following the meeting.

“In order to assist the gardai with their duties, CCTV could be very valuable in a town like Balbriggan and it would be easy to put in because we’re a linear town with a main street that travels North to South.”

Cllr Murphy added that privacy would not be an issue because many shops along the main street already have surveillance cameras installed so this would just be a more focused way of dealing with anti-social problems.

In its report to Cllr Murphy, Fingal County Council said CCTV is accepted as being a useful tool in crime reduction and is of assistance to both An Garda Siochana and the Local Authority in pursuing issues such as illegal dumping and anti-social behaviour. 

“Notwithstanding this, the deployment of CCTV on public streets and roads is a matter which requires careful consideration, and prior to installation, a detailed assessment should be carried out,” it said. “The Fingal Joint Policing Committee is currently undertaking a pilot CCTV project at Corduff, Dublin 15, to assess the operational management, cost benefit and overall effectiveness of the use of public CCTV in an urban location. 

“When this pilot project concludes, it is intended to use the information from the project to design a framework within which requests for CCTV schemes may be assessed and prioritised.”

Meanwhile, some local residents aren’t convinced that CCTV would put an end to anti-social behaviour because the equipment is quite costly and the people who are carrying out the acts might damage or break them.

A local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes that CCTV would be ineffective.

“You could stick cameras up in some areas to stop people congregating, but most likely you would just push the problem elsewhere,” he said. 

“You see in a decent sized town there are lots of possible hotspots, and I don’t think you can have cameras everywhere.”

Another local resident said bringing in CCTV would be a “waste of money because they would just smash and destroy the cameras”.

Balbriggan has experienced huge growth in recent years and according to Census 2016, now has a population of approximately 25,000.  

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here