Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television Systems.

Enda Kenny

Question:

161 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the cost involved in terms of capital outlay and manpower hours on a weekly basis to provide Garda assistance in the monitoring of closed circuit television systems used for the detection and prevention of crime in the interest of the safety of the general public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22325/98]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are 492 weekly man hours expended to provide a dedicated Garda response to monitoring CCTV systems. The related weekly wage cost is £4,920. Using the Department of Finance staff cost model, this sum would be multiplied by a factor of two, since it includes items such as training, accommodation, pension costs, PRSI and equipment, etc.

The monitoring facilities for the Garda CCTV systems are located in O'Connell Street and Pearse Street stations in Dublin, and also in Tralee Garda station. In addition, gardaí monitor traffic during peak periods at the Dublin Corporation civic offices.

Enda Kenny

Question:

162 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the concept of closed circuit television monitoring of some public areas to assist in the prevention and detection of crime in the interests of the safety of the community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22326/98]

In my view, the key factor in the concept of CCTV monitoring is that the placing of CCTV systems acts as an overt deterrent to criminals. It also assists in allaying the fears of the community in relation to crime in the areas where such systems operate. CCTV systems are not in any way a replacement for Garda personnel but are an aid to existing Garda resources. In this respect, CCTV may be of assistance in the detection of crime and the identification of suspects.

The cost factor involved in terms of initial outlay, upkeep of equipment and the employment of personnel to act as monitors means that the concept of CCTV systems must be kept under continual review to ensure their cost effectiveness.