WORK is to commence shortly to link the system of CCTV cameras around Mallow town directly to the local garda station to facilitate 24-hour live monitoring of the town.
The community based CCTV system, which consists of ten cameras placed at strategic spots around the town, was installed in 2009 at a cost of almost €170,000.
Currently images from the cameras are fed into a recording system based in the town hall and can only be surveyed after a crime has been committed.
The council's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) has made repeated calls for the system to be linked directly to the local garda station allowing for the 'real time' monitoring of live feed.
At last Monday night's October meeting of the council, Mallow Town Manager Tom Stritch confirmed the contract for linking the system to the garda station had been awarded to ADT Fire & Security Ltd.
It is believed the initiative will cost in the region of €10,000 and will be funded using monies set aside specifically for the task by the council.
The announcement was warmly welcomed by JPC chairman Cllr Jerry Mullally, who pointed out that crime levels in the town dropped significantly following the installation of the camera network.
"This measure means that the network will now be monitored at all times ensuring that when a crime is committed gardai will be first on the scene.
"This will in turn allow for easier detection and act as even more of a deterrent to criminals," said Cllr Mullally.
He said the link will be in operation before the council is abolished next year.
"Lots of towns would love to have this kind of CCTV system," added Labour's Ronan Sheehan, who predicted that where Mallow has shown a lead other towns will follow.