GARDA officers from the Mid-Louth Garda division were at Darver Castle recently for the first ever Age-Friendly Busniess conference.
Some very useful advice on security was offered by Garda Pat Flynn, Community Garda, Ardee, Sergt Billy Jackson, Crime Prevention Officer, Drogheda and Garda Ian Leslie, Community Relations.
Community Alert groups are growing in Louth in the fight against crime and isolation.
The changing economic times has increased the need for more alert groups.
A survey has shown that one third of farmers do not feel safe and 11 per cent have been victims of crime.
The huge rise in fuel costs means that thieves are targeting items such as diesel tanks on lands.
A current problem is Saoirview bogus callers targeting older people living on their own.
And this is where the alert groups are proving to be of enormous value.
Reaghstown Alert Group recently held its agm.
It was one of the first to be set up in the county and now has 200 people on its texting system which was also one of the first in Louth.
“The texting system certainly makes people feel more secure,” said Enda Matthews chairman of Reaghstown Community Alert.
“We are looking at the problem of people calling to homes regarding the TV changeover and will address this at our agm this week.
We send out 350 newsletters four times a year and liaise constantly with our community police officer Garda David O’Sullivan.”
Vice chairman Dermot Clarke said it is not just about fighting crime.
“There is the social aspect to it all. This is a rural area that is very spread out so people have a social connection as well as safety network and it’s a connection too for people who have just moved into the area.
“People are now alert to unusual activity in the area and they can replay their concerns by text.
“This has proved to be very helpful especially at meetings with the Community Garda Officer.”
And a new community alert group was recently set up in Ardee. Cherrybrook Residents in Ardee had an official launch of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the Bohemian Centre Ardee.