Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (273)

Brendan Smith


273. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of community-based CCTV applications in counties Cavan and Monaghan awaiting approval; when such applications will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53075/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Community-based CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 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 and these key legal requirements have not changed since 2006.  The option to establish a Community CCTV scheme is available to groups that meet these legal requirements, anywhere in the country.

Since 2017, my Department has administered a grant aid scheme supporting groups wishing to establish a community-based CCTV system in their area.  To date, 22 applications have been approved under the scheme, involving approved grants totalling more than €560,000.  Eligible groups, including community groups and local authorities nationwide, 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.

As the Deputy may be aware, earlier this year I expanded the grant aid scheme to cover not only new CCTV systems but also to allow funding applications for extension or upgrade of existing Community CCTV systems which are incomplete or obsolete.  Applicants can now also seek a once-off grant of up to €5,000 for minor maintenance costs.  I am also pleased to confirm that I have recently approved extension of the CCTV grant aid scheme for a further year in 2020.

I must emphasise that grant funding can be considered only for CCTV systems which meet the legal requirements for CCTV, in other words CCTV systems which have been approved by the relevant Joint Policing Committee, the relevant Local Authority (also acting as Data Controller) and which have received the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

For the Deputy's information, I can confirm that one grant application for a CCTV scheme in Monaghan has been approved by my Department. One grant application for a CCTV scheme in Cavan has been refused by my Department, as it did not meet the statutory requirements for CCTV. There are no other CCTV grant aid applications on hand in my Department from Counties Monaghan or Cavan.

If the Deputy is aware of groups wishing to avail of the grant aid scheme, further details are available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address fundsadmin-comm-based-cctv@justice.ie