Wednesday 16 January 2019

Essential for people to keep Gardaí informed

Local Parish Priest Fr Vincent Connaughton said that people in the Ballintogher area were worried with the recent increase in rural crime.

He said at the meeting: "There has been a lot of crime here for the last number of weeks and many people have been affected by it and it's kind of out of control in a way as the people are getting away with it and it's not fair on individuals, the elderly and the community in general.

"Declan Scanlon has been spearheading this meeting tonight. There are six people in the community willing to serve on the committee. The text alert system is a great system to stop crime," he added.

Garda Tony Lavin was invited along to the community alert meeting and he said there is a lot of people affected. "We as an Garda Síochána are only as good as the community that are behind us essentially, you are here everyday in great numbers and that is the beauty of community alert and text alert system, having people on the ground to see what is going on and alert the gardaí about what exactly is happening and if you see any suspicious vehicle that may not normally be there," he explained.

"Modern technology and the likes of text alert is that you can communicate with a large group of people very quickly. Social media as well seems to work well. If there is a local Ballintogher Facebook page, information can be created on that as well," although he said the page administrator needs to be extremely careful about the information created. "There are great systems in place but we just need to be careful as to how we use them."

"Ballintogher itself used to be in the Manorhamilton district as part of the Dromahair Garda Station area and unfortunately Dromahair closed down. Now this area essentially is falling in between Sligo Garda Station and Riverstown and Manorhamilton. In Sligo we cover the village here back as far as Kilross NS where Collooney Garda Station takes over, out Little Valley then you have Riverstown Garda Station in the Ballymote district and out the road here then Manorhamilton takes over. So essentially we have to try and work together to bring all of the districts together to try and address the issues that are going on here and inform the Garda districts what we are trying to do here," he added.

Sligo Champion