Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (34)

Paul McGrath


31 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress which has been made in implementing his commitments to installing closed circuit television systems in towns throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6331/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Garda CCTV systems are currently in operation as aids to policing in the following areas: Dublin city North-Central — comprising 40 cameras — provides coverage of O'Connell Street and surrounding areas. All cameras are monitored from the Garda office in O'Connell Street; Dublin city South-Central — comprising 24 cameras — provides coverage of Temple Bar-Grafton Street and surrounding areas. All cameras are monitored from Pearse Street Garda station; Cork city — comprising 29 cameras — provides coverage of the main streets in the city and adjoining areas. All cameras are monitored from Anglesea Street Garda station; Tralee, County Kerry — comprising 24 cameras — provides coverage of the town centre and adjoining streets. All cameras are monitored from Tralee Garda station; 17 locations are also set to receive new Garda town centre CCTV systems, subject to the availability of funds.

The locations are, in alphabetical order: Athlone, Ballyfermot, Bray, Carlow, Castlebar, Clondalkin, Clonmel, Dundalk, Dun Laoghaire, Ennis, Finglas, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Sligo, Tallaght and Waterford.

Phase 1 of the scheme comprises Bray, Dundalk, Dún Laoghaire, Finglas, Galway and Limerick. The contract for the supply, installation and commissioning of Garda CCTV systems for these locations was awarded to SKS Communications Ltd., and work on the implementation of these systems is ongoing at present.

I am pleased to announce that the full installation and commissioning of Dún Laoghaire CCTV system was completed on Tuesday, 24 February 2004. All eight cameras are now fully operational. Some 12 of the 13 cameras in Bray CCTV system are in place and relaying images to Bray Garda station. Commissioning of the system is expected to take place shortly. Some 23 of the 24 cameras in Limerick CCTV system are operational and being monitored from Henry Street Garda station. Again, commissioning of the system is expected to take place shortly. In Dundalk, six of the ten cameras are operational. Work on the installation of the remaining cameras is nearing completion.

It was intended that Finglas CCTV system would consist of nine cameras — to be monitored from Finglas Garda station. An offer has been made from statutory and other bodies to fund additional cameras for incorporation into the Finglas scheme. This offer is currently under consideration by the CCTV Advisory Committee which was established by the Garda Commissioner to evaluate applications for CCTV systems. Legal advice has been sought, by the committee, on this matter. Upon receipt of the committee's views, I expect to be in a position to decide on this matter.

I have been further informed that the issue regarding the provision of suitable space to accommodate the monitoring of CCTV cameras in Finglas Garda station is currently being considered with regard to the overall accommodation needs of Finglas Garda Station.

A total of seven submissions were received by my Department in respect of the Galway CCTV scheme following the planning process. These are currently under consideration by my Department and responses will issue to all those who have made submissions very shortly.

Phase 2 of the programme of CCTV implementation will consist of Athlone, Clondalkin, Tallaght and Waterford. The pre-tender process for these systems is at an advanced stage. Request for tender and detailed technical specification documents are currently being drafted by the telecommunications section at Garda headquarters, having regard to experience with other Garda CCTV systems and technological developments in this field. It is intended that these systems will go out to tender during the first quarter of 2004.

Phase 3 comprises Ballyfermot, Carlow, Castlebar, Clonmel, Ennis, Kilkenny and Sligo. The planning for the installation of these systems is scheduled to commence later this year.