herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Joy at €200k funding increase for community text schemes

Alan Farrell welcomed move Picture: Tom Burke
Alan Farrell welcomed move Picture: Tom Burke

Crime prevention in north county Dublin has been given a timely boost - after the funding allocated for community text alerts was doubled.

Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced that there will be a jump in funding for the community alert programme, rising by almost €200,000 more than in 2015.

The budget for this year works out at €350,000 in comparison to the €152,000 allocation for 2015.

This increase will incorporate a €100,000 rebate scheme for users of the garda text alert service and this will, on average, amount to about 25pc of costs incurred by local groups for distributing text messages.

This reimbursement scheme will provide a €100 flat-rate payment to applicants and is set to cover the costs of around 1.6 million text messages in the area.

Local TD Alan Farrell said the boost to the scheme will provide a much-needed lift in the fight against crime around the north county area.

"Text Alert Groups are a great crime prevention initiative. They are a wonderful example of people working with their local gardai to protect and support their community," Mr Farrell said.

The Fine Gael TD has encouraged users of the scheme to ensure that they receive their rebate for costs incurred.

"This funding will go directly to local groups here in the north county," he said.

"I would encourage Text Alert groups here in Dublin Fingal to apply to Muintir na Tire for the rebate as soon as possible and at the latest by the end of October 2016. Applications can be made by completing a simple form," he added.

Successful

He said the initiative, which was launched by gardai in 2013 has been successful and is just one such crime prevention step which is being undertaken.

"The gardai have made huge progress since the launch of Operation Thor last year and we have seen a reduction of one-third in burglaries nationwide," he said.

"We now have specific legislation to deal with repeat burglary offenders and particularly the organised gangs who have targeted many rural communities here in Dublin Fingal and across Ireland."

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