€20,000 bill to repair rammed anti-crime cameras
The cost of replacing an anti-crime CCTV system deliberately rammed by a stolen truck in Cherry Orchard last month will top €20,000.
The sophisticated equipment cost Dublin City Council more than €60,000 to erect last December but has been so successful in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the area that what are believed to be local criminals demolished it in broad daylight on April 17.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Daithi Doolan said despite the €80,000 cost of installing and repairing the system it is vital it is reinstated as soon as possible.
Dublin City Council said the cost of the system, which overlooks the building of a modular homes complex, included two poles, eight cameras and wireless links to Ballyfermot Garda Station.
"It is vital that the cameras go back up because there has been a noticeable drop in crime and anti-social behaviour in the area since they were installed," Cllr Doolan told the Herald.
"We need to make it a priority. I know that the money would make a difference on other projects but the fact that someone went to such lengths to destroy it only shows how effective it has been," he added.
"This wasn't the only attack. There have been attempts to break it since it was being erected. The council will have to think of ways to protect the system further so that it can't be knocked again.
"Maybe by putting bollards around it and trying to second-guess what criminals might do next and that might further add to the cost," Cllr Doolin said.
He said he has brought up the topic of the CCTV system with gardai and the council and stressed that extra gardai are also needed in the area.
"We have been promised two new gardai by the end of the year but that's an insult. We could do with 22 new gardai to be honest," he said.
The pole-ramming incident happened in broad daylight when the stolen truck was driven onto grass at Cherry Orchard Avenue and reversed at speed into the metal pole on which the surveillance system was mounted.
Pictures at the time showed how the pole was uprooted in the impact and the truck abandoned at the scene.
The camera system was being used to monitor a construction site across the road where a development of modular houses is being built.
There has been trouble at the site in the past when protests took place as some local groups opposed the building of the homes.