Co Council wants county-wide community alert text system introduced

LOUTH county councillors want the gardai to bring in a texting system for all the community alert groups in the county in a bid to combat rural crime.

LOUTH county councillors want the gardai to bring in a texting system for all the community alert groups in the county in a bid to combat rural crime.

The idea has come from Cllr Michael O’Dowd and he has called on the council to seek funding for the move.

Once it is set up it would pay for itself.

The motion has the wide support of councillors but Sinn Fein’s Tomas Sharkey said that while he welcomed the move he would also like to see gardai keeping in touch with victims and reporting back updates and progress.

The move comes after an Irish Farmers Association (IFA) survey highlighted the worries people living in rural areas have about crime.

The survey shows that 11 per cent of farm families have been the victims of rural crime.

Nearly 40 per cent of people surveyed said they felt less safe in their home over the past 12 months.

The IFA is also worried about the closure of rural garda stations and bank and post office branches.

IFA deputy president Eddie Downey said he is concerned that all crime is not being reported to the gardai as the figures in the IFA survey contrast with reports of drops in crime levels.

Mr Downey has also complained about the poor quality of the telephone network in rural Ireland.

Louth County Councillor and Ardee Town Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the move to try and create a county-wide texting service.

“This texting system is working well in the Cookstown area and Stabannon and also north Louth.

“It’s the community looking after itself and assisting the gardai,” Cllr McGeough said.