Thursday, 26 April 2018
Department of Justice and Equality
Closed-Circuit Television Systems
116. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the Garda superintendent in the Thurles Garda division can act as data controller on the new CCTV scheme in Littleton, County Tipperary; if the new recording system can be stored at Littleton Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18412/18]
The Deputy will be aware that CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access, such as town centres, fall into two distinct but complementary categories, namely Garda CCTV systems and community-based CCTV systems. Neither type of CCTV system may be established without authorisation by the Garda Commissioner under section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, among other requirements.
In respect of community CCTV systems, the key requirements for the establishment of such systems are statutorily based and require that the proposal 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 – this is a long-standing statutory requirement, set out in the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 289 of 2006), for the establishment of community CCTV systems generally, and
- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner in accordance with Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
Therefore if it is intended to establish a community CCTV system in Littleton, County Tipperary, the local authority would be required to undertake to act as data controller, in accordance with the relevant legislation.
As regards storage of the recording equipment, this is a matter to be determined in relation to the specific systems involved and as Minister I have no role in the matter.
Finally, I would draw the Deputy's attention to the community-based CCTV grant-aid scheme administered by my Department, to assist groups in the establishment of community-based CCTV systems in their local areas, in pursuance of a Programme for Government commitment.
The requirements of the scheme are based on similar requirements that applied to the previous grant scheme operated by my Department between 2005 and 2013 which assisted with the establishment of some 45 systems.
I am very conscious of the value that communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders. Full details of the scheme, including guidelines for applicants, are available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie and I would encourage interested groups to avail of the scheme.