A pilot proposal to expand the very successful Manorhamilton CCTV operation to encompass eight other towns and villages is hoping to secure funding.
The proposal to enhance, upgrade and extend the existing Community CCTV system in Manorhamilton to the rest of North Leitrim is being hailed as a groundbreaking method of helping to deter crime in rural areas.
The proposal was welcomed by members of the Leitrim Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
A special presentation was made to members of the committee on Monday last by Philip Rooney, Chairperson of Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum.
The existing Manorhamilton CCTV system was activated in 2010 by the Enterprise Forum with funding administered by Pobal.
As well as CCTV cameras installed at strategic locations across the town, the system also included the installation of Automatic Number Plate Recognition Technology. Since its introduction, the system has been instrumental in deterring criminal activity and also in solving crimes in the locality.
The current technology needs upgrading and Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum are looking to not only improve the current system, but also install CCTV cameras in Glenfarne, Kiltyclogher, Rossinver, Kinlough, Dromahair, Killargue, Drumkeerin and Dowra as part of a network feeding into the Manorhamilton hub.
This would create a network of coverage across North Leitrim in the first system of its kind and, if successful, it could be used as a blueprint for community-led CCTV systems going forward.
Representatives of Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum met with Minister Michael Ring, who currently serves in the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs earlier this year to discuss the proposal and it was estimated that the project would require around €159,000 in funding to complete.
“It will be hard work to make this happen and we'll need to sit down and work out just how this can be put together,” said Mr Rooney.
Leitrim County Council Chief Executive, Frank Curran, said he had spoken with senior officials in Minister Ring's Department and they are “trying to bridge the gap” between any Department of Justice funding available for the project and the cost.
The possibility of securing CLAR funding is also being looked at.
Representatives on the JPC welcome the plan and agreed that all stakeholders needed to work to see this pilot project become a reality.