Pilot CCTV scheme for County Limerick approved

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Pilot CCTV scheme for County Limerick approved

More than 40 ‘smart’ CCTV cameras will be rolled out across Limerick by November

LIMERICK’s ambitious CCTV pilot scheme can take up to 500 new cameras if funding is made available, a Limerick City and County Council official has said.

Officials of the joint policing committee (JPC) convened a special meeting to give the green light to the new scheme, which will soon deliver 44 ‘smart’ CCTV cameras across the county in November.

The integrated system, which soon commences its first phase of delivery, will be monitored via a central hub in Moyross.

The JPC chairperson and metropolitan mayor, Cllr Sean Lynch said they were “in a bit of a rush” in relation to the matter, as the plans had to be forwarded to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan for approval.

The project has an estimated cost of €500,000. Around €350,000 will be needed to buy and install the CCTV cameras, while €150,000 is needed over three years for the annual maintenance and communications costs.

The towns and communities benefiting from the new programme include Newcastle West, Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castleconnell, Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock, Adare, Pallasgreen, Caherconlish, Croom, Foynes, Murroe, Patrickswell and Cappamore.

While it was mentioned at a previous meeting that up to 300 cameras will be installed and renewed over the full programme, the council’s head of digital strategy Dr Mihai Bilauca said that the scheme can take on an additional 200.

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins asked Dr Bilauca if the strength of internet connection in some areas was a criteria in deciding the location of some cameras.

The digital strategist said that “broadband was not something that we took into consideration” but that the location or relocation of cameras has to be “financially viable”. He added that the criteria in selecting the location of the cameras was based on the council’s Hinterland Report.

Sen Kieran O’Donnell asked if gardaí will be able to “take over the monitoring” in the event of an incident. Supt Derek Smart said they will have access to cameras at the hub.

Mayor Stephen Keary and Cllr Kevin Sheahan asked the council to consider prioritising Askeaton and Rathkeale as the scheme is being rolled out.

Cllr Seighin O’Ceallaigh welcomed the new programme, he said that the closing down of garda stations has “left many vulnerable people worried”.