Motorway CCTV scheme to tackle burglars
New rural CCTV schemes will be trialled as part of a range of measures against travelling gangs of burglars.
Cameras are to be installed at strategic positions on motorway entry and exit ramps, under a plan set to be announced by Environment Minister Alan Kelly.
Community alert groups would have the cameras installed with the help of Government funding, which will be channelled through local authorities. The new CCTV scheme will be piloted in a small number of rural areas, with the Government planning to roll it out on a wider basis if it proves successful.
It is aimed specifically at urban gangs of criminals targeting rural communities and then using the country's motorway network to make a quick getaway.
The camera footage would be accessible to gardaí and the equipment would be sophisticated enough to read number plates.
It is hoped the measure will act both as a deterrent to travelling gangs and as a method to trace them and secure prosecutions.
Meanwhile, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has also said significant investment has been made in the Garda fleet, with high-powered and visible vehicles due to take to the road within months to combat criminals using motorways to access rural areas.
"We are particularly conscious, particularly in rural areas, that the road network is there so we have invested significantly in improving the fleet that we have," she said at the National Ploughing Championships.
Mr Kelly declined to go into details yesterday, but said he was planning to make an announcement in conjunction with Rural Affairs Minister Ann Phelan.
"I think the issue of rural crime is a serious issue, so we're going to look at various different ways in which we can target particularly the use of motorways," he said.