Tralee crime text alert is a success

Over 100 incidents reported using anonymous service in its first eight weeks

Simon Brouder

An anonymous text alert service that allows people in Tralee to instantly report crimes has been hailed as a success after its first eight weeks in operation.

The 'See Something, Say Something' text service - which uses know-how from local tech company ZinMobi - was rolled out by Tralee Chamber Alliance in partnership with An Garda Síochána in late July.

The project, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, urges members of the public who 'See Something' that might need Garda intervention to 'Say Something' by texting TRALEE and the incident details to 50555. The free text messages are received by the sergeant on duty.

According to figures released by Tralee Chamber Alliance and Gardaí in the first eight weeks of the service, 158 reports were made relating to 103 separate incidents. To date these reports have resulted in 11 arrests, 10 prosecutions and the searches of two properties.

Sergeant Tim O'Keeffe of Tralee Garda Station said that in the past "most" of those incidents would have gone unreported.

"The text campaign has been wholeheartedly welcomed by the Gardaí in Tralee, and we consider it a very valuable tool in supporting the people in Tralee, with over 92 per cent of texts being responded to," said Sgt O'Keeffe.

"Because of limitations in our own resources, we weren't in a position to respond to all the messages within a time-frame we ourselves are satisfied with. However, we are learning and adapting what we do in the station and are looking at our own resources to respond faster" added Sgt O'Keeffe.

Ken Tobin of Tralee Chamber Alliance said that the results proved the value of the campaign.

"Over the summer months there was a noticeable improvement on the streets of Tralee. It certainly had an impact in improving the atmosphere in the town centre," he said.