A NEW Community Text Alert Scheme which was launched in Ballyduff last week, has already attracted over 300 members.
Committee Chairperson Helen Murphy explained that local residents were fed up with the amount of thefts, burglaries and vandalism in the area. 'We held a public meeting at the end of February, and over 100 people attended,' she said. 'It turned out that everybody on one particular road was hit at one stage, and there were two to three incidents a week. This was a very big concern.'
'We organised a committee and had weekly meetings,' she added. 'We got a great response from the community, and we had to extend our boundary such was the level of interest. The scheme is up and running now.'
Anyone who spots suspicious activity in the area can contact a designated text number which is monitored 24 hours a day. The report is then forwarded to the Gardai, and if there's concern about the report, a text is then sent to all members advising them to be on the look out. A text can also be sent to neighbouring text alert schemes if there is concern about suspicious vehicles heading in their direction.
The Ballyduff scheme extends towards Camolin, Ferns and Craanford.
Among those in attendance at the launch last week were representatives from An Garda Siochana and Muintir na Tire, and those present were given some pertinent personal security advice.
Helen said that since the public meeting, there have only been two or three incidents in the area. Signs have been erected to inform unwelcome visitors they are being watched.
Anyone in the area who would like to sign up to the scheme can contact any member of the Community Alert committee in Ballyduff.