Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (243, 244)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

243. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of a CCTV application by a council (details supplied); the stage the application is at; when it will be approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48812/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

244. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of CCTV schemes that have been approved for funding since the scheme commenced; the number of schemes approved to date in 2019; if each local authority is signed up to the scheme; the areas that have been successful with their applications in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48813/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 and 244 together.

Community-based CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the 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. The location of the CCTV schemes which have been approved for funding are as follows:

- Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

- Cranmore, Co. Sligo

- Arklow, Co. Wicklow

- Courttown/Riverchapel, Gorey and Wexford Town, Co. Wexford

- Abbeyfeale, Adare, Askeaton, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Croom, Foynes, Kilmallock, Newcastlewest, Pallasgreen, Patrickswell, Murroe and Rathkeale, Co Limerick

- Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan

- St Mullins, Co. Carlow

I can confirm that an application for CCTV grant aid from the area referred to by the Deputy was received in my Department earlier this year. This application was refused in July 2019 as it did not meet the 3 statutory requirements for Community CCTV. The applicant was notified by letter of this decision - but I would emphasise that it remains open to them to reapply for funding once they apply for and secure the approvals required by the law for all Community CCTV systems.

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.

The scheme remains open for applications from interested groups in 2019 and all fully completed applications received before the end of 2019 will be considered. Further, I am also pleased to announce 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.

If the Deputy is aware of groups wishing to avail of the 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.