IN the fightback against crime, and break-ins especially, Kilsaran-Castlebellingham Community Alert group launched their new text alert system at the O’Connell’’s clubhouse on Monday.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough, who helped set up the group, said the need for rural communities to take a stand against burglaries, is now essential.
“Just a few weeks ago,” said Cllr McGeough, “when we were distributing leaflets about the launch two houses in the area were broken into and ransacked, and this all happened in the middle of the day.
The huge rise in fuel costs means that thieves are also targeting oil and diesel tanks.
Kilsaran-Castlebellingham hope to follow Reaghstown which was one of the first areas to set up a text system.
It now has over 200 people on its texting system which, according to Enda Matthews of Reaghstown Community Alert, “makes people feel more secure”.
They also send out 350 newsletters four times a year and liaise constantly with their community police officer Garda David O’Sullivan.
Cllr McGeough said the text system is linked to local gardai.
“Other systems have seen a significant drop in burglaries and public order offences,” Cllr McGeough said.
“Text alerts can be used by the Gardaí to alert communities of suspicious activity in their area and visa versa.”
“This system can really help fight crime.”
“It also helps to keep a community together and this is more important than ever in difficult and changing times when more and more people are feeling isolated.
“I would strongly urge people to join the Kilsaran-Castlebellingham community alert group as it can help people and their families in so many positive ways.