Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (214)

John McGuinness


214. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delays in granting local communities (details supplied) permission to provide CCTV in circumstances in which the communities have agreement with local councils to act as data controller and the equipment is housed in a local Garda station; if it his Department or the Garda Commissioner that now needs to grant approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28448/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access fall into two distinct but complementary categories, namely Garda CCTV systems and community-based CCTV systems.  Community CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (SI No 289 of 2006). This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must:

- be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,

- have the prior support of the relevant local authority, which must also act as data controller, and

- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes, regardless of how they are funded. 

My Department administers a grant aid scheme which can provide financial assistance to groups intending to establish a community-based CCTV system in their local areas. Eligible groups, including community groups and local authorities, can apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum total of €40,000.  I would emphasise that grant funding can be considered only for proposed CCTV schemes which have obtained the necessary statutory approvals, as set out above.

I can confirm that my Department has to date not received any application for funding for community CCTV in the area referred to by the Deputy.

I am keen to ensure that all interested groups, in both rural and urban areas, have the opportunity to take advantage of the availability of the grant aid scheme.  If the Deputy is aware of groups wishing to avail of the scheme, further details are available to download from my Department's website - and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address