For Oral Answer on : 20/10/2022
Question Number(s): 18 Question Reference(s): 52357/22
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Justice her plans to review, expand and further support the community alert service nationwide; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy will appreciate one of the core duties of Government is to support people to feel safe and be safe within their communities. In addition to the extensive policing measures to build safer communities, there are several crime prevention initiatives including the Community Alert Service.
The Department has for many years provided funding to Muintir na Tíre in relation to the employment and associated costs of the national Community Alert programme, including the employment of three regional Development Officers.
These Officers provide support to Community and Text Alert schemes and offer advice on how to establish new schemes. Funding is also provided to offset the costs incurred by community groups including the cost of issuing the text messages under the Text Alert Rebate Scheme.
Funding in the region of €150,000 has been made available to local communities who wish to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local Text Alert Scheme, which is administered by Muintir na Tíre. This is a continuation of the annual funding made available by the Department for the Text Alert Rebate scheme each year since 2016.
The Deputy will be interested to know that the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau are currently exploring the potential of further rolling out the ‘See Something Say Something’ text alert initiative as part of a working group with both internal and external stakeholders.
I understand that this innovative approach to reporting issues directly to An Garda Síochána has been very successfully piloted in Swords and Tralee, and the project will be further rolled out in a number of additional areas.