The meeting will discuss the need for CCTV cameras at motorway junctions
An information evening will take place in the The Rising Sun, Mullinavat on Thursday February 1 at 8pm, to discuss the need for CCTV cameras at motorway junctions.
The evening will be chaired by Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr David Fitzgerald, and will also be attended by the chairperson of the Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Fidelis Doherty, members of an Garda Síochána, officials from Kilkenny County Council and the Irish Farmers Association.
Cllr Fitzgerald, said: “Rural communities are demanding more action to stop criminal gangs using our new road network to prey on rural dwellers.
"Cameras should be installed at motorway junctions on the M9 in South Kilkenny and the M8 in North Kilkenny as a matter of urgency in order to combat crime in our rural communities.
“I am calling this evening so the people of Kilkenny can have their say in how we proceed with the installation of the camera system.
“We need a coordinated response to reduce crime on our farms and in our small towns and villages, and having cameras on the motorway to help catch the criminal gangs would be a big step forward.
“I have been working with several community groups on this issue for several years and successfully ensured that the need for CCTV cameras at motorway junctions became Fine Gael policy in 2016, and as a result it was subsequently included in the programme for government.”
He added: “While there is a grant system now in place to help assist with the cost of installing the camera system, it doesn’t go far enough. While it helps with the cost of installing the system, it doesn’t cover the cost of running the system.
"Many groups have expressed their concern to me about the cost of running the system and I have raised with the Minister for Justice the need for additional funding.”
As all applications must be approved by the Joint Policing Committee, the Chairperson of the Committee, Cllr Fidelis Doherty, added her support in delivering this technology to assist in crime prevention right across the county.
Noting the proven international link between the opening of motorways and burglary in rural communities, Cllr Fitzgerald declared that plate recognition technology, such as that used to collect tolls, can be used successfully to identify cars with false number plates and stolen trailers.
The cameras would also act as a deterrent to criminals coming from Dublin to Kilkenny and Carlow to raid isolated homes and steal farm equipment and tools.
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