Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Closed-Circuit Television Systems Provision
329. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the funding application from Louth County Council to fund CCTV in Moneymore has been received; if it will be expedited in view of the importance both the inter-agency committee and the local gardaí have placed on the installation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2751/20]
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, 26 applications have been approved under the scheme, involving approved grants totalling more than €607,000.
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 and it is now also possible for applicants to seek a once-off grant of up to €5,000 for minor maintenance costs. The scheme permits applications not only new CCTV systems but also for extension or upgrade of existing Community CCTV systems which are incomplete or obsolete.
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.
I can confirm that an application has been received in my Department for funding for community CCTV in the area referred to by the Deputy, namely Moneymore, County Louth. However I understand that one of the statutory requirements for CCTV (Garda Commissioner's authorisation) has not yet been met in this case. A decision on the application for funding can be considered only after those statutory requirements are met. My officials have been in contact with the applicants in that regard with a view to ensuring that a decision can be made as soon as possible.