More CCTV cameras needed in Kilkenny
Kilkenny needs up to 15 additional CCTV cameras and Gardaí will be seeking funding from the local authority for the technology.
At a recent meeting , the JPC heard from Chief Superintendent of the Kilkenny/Carlow Garda Division, Dominic Hayes, who discussed Kilkenny’s CCTV capacity.
He told committee members that he would be making a request to the Council for funding for more cameras.
He said there is a “serious funding issue” in respect of the provision of CCTV and they will be looking for the additional cameras over a phased basis for traffic control, crime prevention and public order.
Members were shown footage from cameras around the City and Chief Supt Hayes highlighted the Parade area and said “further down Castle Road there is nothing and it is something we need to improve on”.
He added that on the Old Dublin Road roundabouts they also need more cameras but that ducting had gone into new thoroughfares and roads so the additional CCTV needs would not be costly.
Sgt Peter McConnon, Crime Prevention Officer for the Kilkenny/Carlow Garda Divison, also spoke on the issue, he said the demographics have changed and there is a need to “prioritise areas of footfall”.
“We'd love to have a camera at every junction, on every street. See what happened in Toronto during the week, things like that can happen,” he said.
On April 23, 10 people were killed and 16 were injured after a man in a rental van drove down a sidewalk in Toronto running down pedestrians.
Sgt McConnon added that CCTV cameras are a huge tool in preventing and policing crime and the Gardaí are too reliant on private enterprises to provide CCTV.
The Gardaí have submitted a report on the Peace Park War Memorial recommending the installation of two CCTV cameras in that area covering the Central Access Scheme bridge and parts of the Abbey Quarter.
Chairperson of the JPC, Cllr Fidelis Doherty, asked the Gardaí to identify locations for assistance in budget decisions.
Cllr David Kennedy asked how many CCTV cameras are needed and Chief Supt Hayes said: “How long is a piece of string?
“Possibly over the long term we’d be looking at 10-15 locations but we’re looking at 3-4 initially.”
Cllr Patrick McKee said City representatives “did have a more significant budget with the Borough Council and its loss is being felt”.
Cllr McKee fully supported an agreement in principle for the funding of the CCTV and called for an agreement to be reached between party whips and the Council executive on the funding allocation.
“This is critical,” he added. Meanwhile, the Kilkenny People revealed last week that the Government’s Community Based CCTV scheme has been “paused” in Kilkenny over an issue with local authorities being the data controller of the CCTV footage.
Criteria for the scheme dictates that the community organisation applying for the CCTV funding must have the prior support of the relevant local authority, who “must act as data controller”.
Last month’s meeting of Kilkenny’s Joint Policing Committee heard that City and County managers met with the Data Protection Commissioner and they are “awaiting guidance” on the issue of them being the data controller.
The county executives wrote to the Department of Justice asking them that they “pause” the CCTV scheme until that guidance from the DPC is received.