Cllr Kieran Bourke
A councillor has called on Tipperary Co. Council to review Carrick-on-Suir's Community CCTV system because the cameras are "not up to scratch".
Fianna Fail Cllr Kieran Bourke tabled a motion requesting the review at the latest meeting of Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District meeting.
Arising from it, Clonmel District Gda. Supt. William Leahy has been invited to the January Municipal District meeting to give a presentation about the Gardai's concerns about the CCTV system.
Cllr Bourke's motion was seconded by his fellow Carrick-on-Suir councillor David Dunne (SF).
Carrick-on-Suir's Community CCTV system of ten cameras at key locations around the town is in operation since 2010.
The system cost an estimated €290,000 to install and was funded by POBAl and the former Carrick-on-Suir Town Council.
Cllr Bourke said Clonmel District Garda Superintendent William Leahy told him after the recent County Joint Policing Committee meeting he was delighted they raised the issue of Community CCTV cameras because he believed the standard and quality of the cameras in Carrick-on-Suir were not up to scratch and not good enough.
Cllr Bourke explained that Carrick-on-Suir was one of the first towns to get community CCTV because it was a designated RAPID town. The kick in the tail was that the quality of the camera systems have now moved on so much.
There were a number of community CCTV cameras on Main Street but when crimes happened along that street the Gardai were dependent on the good will of local businesses with their own CCTV cameras to view footage. They were getting no benefit from the community CCTV, he argued.
He said Supt. Leahy asked councillors to raise the issue at the Municipal District meeting and he was interested in attending a meeting to talk to councillors and officials about the cameras. He proposed the Superintendent be invited to an upcoming meeting of the District's councillors.
Cllr Bourke pointed out that if the Municipal District proposed a case for new cameras to the Joint Policing Committee it would assist the Committee in making an application for government funding.
Cllr Dunne told Council officials he agreed with the motion. He pointed out that he made a representation for CCTV to be installed at Kickham Street, which was now one of the town's busiest streets. But he was told there was no money.
Council officials disagreed with the view the CCTV system was "not up to scratch".
Executive Engineer Nicola Keating said the CCTV system was very high-tech with night vision and wipers for cleaning. There were three cameras on Main Street and their positioning could be changed in any direction by the Gardai. "I don't know if they are using them in the most efficient way," she wondered.
District Administrator Martin Nolan said the Council gets a request about once a month for CCTV footage. "It is a good system and I don't know if I accept the criticism made of it," he said. "I am regularly in contact with the local Gardai and they have never made a complaint about it."