Caution urged over community ‘text alert’ schemes

SAM MATTHEWS

Reporter:

SAM MATTHEWS

Local communities and neighbourhoods using text messages for ‘community alert’ purposes have been urged to use caution due to public liability fears.

Local communities and neighbourhoods using text messages for ‘community alert’ purposes have been urged to use caution due to public liability fears.

Margaret Quinn of Muintir na Tire addressed Kilkenny’s Joint Policing Committee on Monday, and told those present that there was an increase in groups looking to set up text alert schemes.

“There are two things to bear in mind,” she said.

“One – there must be adequate public liability insurance. And second, no message should go out into a community unless it has been approved by Gardai.

“One day, someone will turn back and say ‘you sent out my vehicle number to 300 people in the parish and I wasn’t even there.”

But Cllr Fidelis Doherty (FG) said she was delighted with the text scheme currently operating in Glenmore.

“I am concerned that you are saying you have to consult the guards before sending a text,” she said.

“I’m worried that will put people off. What if I ring Mooncoin [Station] and someone doesn’t pick up?”

Cllr Matt Doran (FF) said information from a member of the public had been instrumental in helping Gardai apprehend burglars in the Callan area last Friday.