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Communities urged to ‘take a stand’ against rural crime


In its New Year message to community groups across Ireland, Muintir na Tíre has warned that crime, and particularly the fear of crime, remains a very serious issue throughout rural Ireland.
Muintir na Tíre, the National Association for Community Development, also administers the Community Alert programme in partnership with an Garda Síochána.
Muintir na Tíre national president Michael Sweeney is urging rural dwellers to ensure they are protected as much as possible.
“Recent high-profile crimes in the Midlands and other areas are not acceptable,” he said. “Rural communities cannot be abandoned and left in fear. Elderly and vulnerable people are leaving their homes because of this fear. We must take a stand against this.”
While highlighting some of the practical advances that have been made in the fight against crime – including increased Garda resources, successes from Operation Thor, and increased funding towards Community Text Alert costs and Community CCTV – he encouraged more to sign up to the supports available.  
“Communities must also act for themselves, and an active Community Alert group is one of the best deterrents possible,” he said.
Muintir na Tíre CEO, Niall Garvey, added: “We now work with over 1,400 Community alert groups nationwide, and it has been acknowledged where a group is active and progressive, crime in the area decreases.”
“There are many supports available to community groups and individuals. These include the very successful Community Text Alert system, and the revamped Community CCTV programme.
We administer the Community Alert Rebate programme on behalf of the Department of Justice and Equality, which contributes towards the costs of this scheme for communities. Community Alert groups are also the largest providers of socially monitored panic alarms under the Seniors Alert Scheme and we encourage all people over 65 to avail of this scheme.”
Muintir na Tíre also recently launched its new Cairde Muintir mobile app, which includes, amongst other features, a panic alarm which will be very useful for those under 65, who cannot avail of the Seniors Alert Scheme.

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