Written Answers. - Closed Circuit Television.

Seán Power

Ceist:

59 Mr. Power asked the Minister for Justice her views on whether the use of closed circuit television has been a major factor in reducing crime; and the consideration, if any, she will give to promoting greater use of closed circuit television throughout the country. [17096/95]

A closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring system was launched in the Temple Bar area of Dublin city on 26 October 1995. This pilot scheme is the first of its kind in this country and was introduced in the Temple Bar area with the co-operation of local interests. The effectiveness of the pilot scheme will be the subject of a full assessment when it has been running for about four months.

The installation of closed circuit television cameras offers an opportunity to the Garda to monitor activity in densely populated public thoroughfares and to help to eliminate disorder and other crimes against the community. The Garda believe that the use of CCTV will have a beneficial effect on crime prevention and crime detection in the area in which it is located and that the quality of life for those living and working in the area will be greatly enhanced. This has been the experience in other jurisdictions where CCTV cameras are used to assist the law enforcement agencies.

As the scheme has just recently been introduced it is not possible as yet to comment conclusively on its likely value in reducing crime in this jurisdiction. I have been informed by the Garda authorities, however, that there has already been a number of arrests following incidents recorded by the cameras in the Temple Bar area.