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Westport scales back CCTV plans

Westport scales back CCTV plans

Anton McNulty

Westport will have to do with a scaled back CCTV system for the town after it was revealed the Town Council canonly afford to install three or four cameras.
Town Clerk for Westport, Ann Moore confirmed that the council have been unable to secure additional funding to add to the €20,000 the council earmarked for CCTV in their 2012 annual budget. Speaking at yesterday’s Westport Joint Policing Committee meeting, Ms Moore said they did not have the resources for the system at the moment but are in talks with both the Chamber of Commerce and Destination Westport to help contribute to install ‘three or four’ cameras before the end of the year.
“We do not have the resources, we had hoped to get funding through a Garda scheme and we submitted an application but were not successful. There is no funding whatsoever in the Garda scheme and we have €20,000 and will have to look at our options. The cost of the equipment is over €20,000 and we have met with the Chamber of Commerce and Destination Westport. We would hope to have three or four cameras in place before the end of the year. But we have no timeline until the resources are available,” she explained.
The meeting had earlier heard from Senior Executive Engineer, Iarla Moran who explained that the cost of a suitable CCTV system for Westport would be €70,000 but accepted the likelihood was it would be scaled back to prioritise certain areas with the funding available.
Cllr Christy Hyland told the meeting that they will have to ‘crawl before we walk’ and urged the council to start to roll out the system and feels it will be money well spent.
“CCTV will not cure all the ills but I guarantee it will act as a deterrent,” he told the meeting. “It should be rolled out as soon as possible, have a few and see how it goes.”
Superintendent Aiden Foley said a CCTV system will be of assistance to the gardaí but stressed it was not going to cure the town’s problems or stop anti-social behaviour. He also suggested that if a system was put in place, there should be provisions to extend it around the town. 
Cllr Martin Keane suggested a number of  positions in the town to locate the cameras, and Mr Moran confirmed they will be placed in the ‘core of the town’.