Tuesday, 15 April 2014
In light of the proven effectiveness of crime prevention text alerts in both urban and rural trials, consideration should be given to a centralised grant fund to allow residents' associations and communities to begin their own crime prevention text alert trials. It has been stated that the Minister's Department does not directly fund such schemes, but that does not preclude the Minister from considering a centrally funded pilot scheme, given the success of individual trials to date in areas such as Beaumont and Santry. Trials of community text alerts in both urban and rural areas have been very successful. They are effective as a 21st-century equivalent of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. If a burglar enters a house through an open window a text is sent to all residents in the vicinity to warn them of the burglary and advising them to check their windows. It is common sense, as burglaries often happen in clusters. These alerts work as a deterrent if signs are placed in windows, much like the Neighbourhood Watch signs in the past. I ask the Minister to consider issuing a one-off grant in order to aid either community groups or An Garda Síochána in setting up these services. The one-off cost would pay dividends for communities, towns and villages by preventing crime and encouraging people to be active, alert and vigilant with regard to their own areas.