A CALL has been made for monitored CCTV cameras to be installed in the square in Newcastle West, in a bid to clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
Local Fine Gael councillor Damien Riedy believes that public cameras monitored by gardai would “act as a deterrent” against crime, particularly in the wake of the vandalising last month of the squarre’s bronze statue of famed West Limerick poet Michael Hartnett.
Cllr Riedy said that while he understands that there are pressures on garda resources and manpower, specially-erected CCTV cameras, such as those in various locations in Limerick city, would help identify criminals and keep the peace.
“People, by and large, will feel far safer when they know it’s something that we have in the busiest parts of our towns.
“I can’t speak for other towns, only my own. But in the square in Newcastle West we’ve had a few niggly incidents over the last while. I think that having this kind of CCTV unit would act more as a deterrent.”
At present, there is no special CCTV feed of the town centre available to local gardai. When incidents take place, the gardai often rely on CCTV footage taken from cameras outside local pubs, shops and business premises. However, none of these cameras look out on to the square itself, which is often the scene of incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Riedy said that he intends to raise the issue at the next county council joint policing committee meeting, which takes place later this month.
“I suppose it’s down to manpower. [The gardai] might not have the resources at the moment to man a CCTV station full time. But I think this is something that’s really worth investing in.”