Cobh Municipal District is to consider the installation of CCTV cameras along the Island’s main thoroughfare. The Municipality is at present carrying out a survey of the town centre, in order to seek funding from the Department of Justice and Law Reform for a community based CCTV system.
The move comes following a call from Fine Gael Cllr Sinead Sheppard for surveillance of the area, after mindless acts of vandalism led to a string of forced closures to the town’s only public convenience. Three arson attacks on the toilet block adjacent to Kennedy Park in the past six months has meant that the facility’s entire maintenance budget for 2019 has already been spent on repairs. Cllr Sheppard told the May Sitting of the Borough that the cameras would help increase public safety, deter illegal or anti-social behaviour, and help land brazen fly tippers and those who do not pick up after their pet, with a hefty fine.
Under a Government Community CCTV scheme run by the Department of Justice, a total of €1million is available to Local Authorities each year until 2020. The programme provides Municipal districts with up to 60% of the cost of installing CCTV, to the maximum value of €40,000. The Cobh based Cllr said the remaining costs could come from monies collected from the Town’s paid parking meters. She said “it is madness that there is €40,000 available since 2017. We need to avail of it now.”
New European DATA protection legislation brought in last May had raised some concerns over the operation of the scheme. However, the Data Commissioner said there was no issue with Community based CCTV schemes that have been authorised by the Garda Commissioner. A potential costing for the Cobh project is to be presented to the June Sitting of the Borough.