Monday 19 November 2018

'Live' CCTV cameras are only solution

Hubert Murphy

Chief Supt Christy Mangan says that the gardai in Drogheda are prepared to take on the operation of the RAPID area CCTV system to help detect crime in the area.

Addressing concerns expressed by those attending the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee meeting in Millmount that the present system is pointless, he said they would be keen to see it upgraded and 'go live' in the station.

At present, it is designed to record and then must be manually downloaded.

'If people are dropping drugs or whatever, we need to see it live,' he remarked. 'Nobody is going to go through eight or 10 hours of recording the following day.'

Deputy Imelda Munster asked what was the hold up in providing the proper CCTV link up, as the conversation about it had been going on for years.

Director of Services Joe McGuinness said the cameras were in place for about 15 years and recordings took place and were then retrieved. He said ideally they should be downloaded, all the systems joined together and done in compliance with data protection. 'If the gardai request it, we will give it to them.'

He added if the gardai wanted to introduce 'live' CCTV, it could be done if agreement was reached on it.

Cllr Paul Bell said that the upgrading of the CCTV so the gardai could monitor it remains a priority.

'Dumping is anti-social, in Rathmullen and the ravine at Hillview. It's unbridled. Hillview residents are up in arms, the same in Ballsgrove and Tredagh View.

'Last Halloween we did not fully respond to the needs of the community, but the outdoor staff and the gardai did their best. There were 180 pallets burned on Ballsgrove Green. It was industrial dumping,' he stated.

He said he was threatened by individuals three nights later after reporting the incidents, something Chief Supt Christy Mangan immediately responded to by saying that he would not tolerate any such moves against public representatives or people doing a public duty.

Cllr Frank Godfrey agreed that the dumping was not causing health problems and said that there was an element 'who didn't want to pay anything and were dumping their rubbish in their neighbour's bins.'

He added that people were also discarding their rubbish at Bring Banks.

'Maybe we need a confidential line so people can report those dumping. People think they can get away with it and they are getting away with it.'

Director of Services Joe McGuinness said there was a hotline for people to ring if they see dumping (1800)202606.

'2017 was a difficult year. We even came across bags of waste dumped in houses we got CPO's on. At Halloween, domestic waste was dumped on bonfires and that was an added burden for the fire service.

'There have been issues in some estates but not always with our tenants.'

Cllr David Saurin said that not only was Halloween bad, but 'rubbish was burned for three nights' and he felt a campaign to get an anti-dumping message out would be good.

'When the pay by weight comes in, this is going to explode,' he warned.

Cllr Riche Culhane said that covert CCTV cameras at known dumping blackspots would identify people. 'Other councils use it, why can't we?,' he asked officials.

Cllr Tommy Byrne suggested that government needed to bring in regulations that people found dumping could lose their license.

Drogheda Independent