Criminals planning to target the villages of Duleek and Donore have been warned they will be caught after 14 hi-tech CCTV cameras went live last week.
That was the clear warning being sent out following the launch of the new community-based 24-hour monitoring system installed at an estimated cost of €50,000.
The cameras, equipped with number plate recognition software and high definition quality are mounted at all entry and access points to the villages as well as mid-way points. The cameras will be monitored from Duleek and Ashbourne Garda stations.
The project is culmination of three years work by Duleek Text Alert Service and local community working with An Garda Siochana, Meath County Council with financial support from Indaver Ireland.
After putting the installation of the cameras out to contract, the Committee settled on Moran CCTV based in Dundalk with the project taking four weeks to complete.
The idea of having a community-funded CCTV system installed in the village began in earnest in 2014 according to Duleek Text Alert Committee chairman Ray Andrews.
“This gained momentum in 2016 after a number of very serious incidents in the village here. Criminals saw Duleek as a soft target, it was easy pickings for them. We were determined not to let this happen. We were determined to fight back. We, as a committee, forged ahead with plans to have a community-based CCTV system installed in the village.
“We began by emailing CCTV companies, telling them what we were looking for and seeking quotes for the cost of it. Many companies simply did not respond to our queries, many rang back and said it couldn’t be done or simply said that it wouldn’t be worth their while to do it.
“In the end, it came down to only three companies who would take up the job. The contract was awarded to Moran CCTV from Dundalk.”
Morans have installed 11 fixed and rotational CCTV cameras in Duleek covering the Main Street and all approaches the Main Street. There is also CCTV covering the Duleek Business Park and the Drogheda to Ashbourne Road. The village of Donore has three CCTV cameras covering the approach roads to their Village.
Ray Andrews believes the new camera system with number plate recognition software installed is the most advanced and modern CCTV system in the country at the moment.
“We, as a committee, are proud to say it is the first community-based CCTV system installed in County Meath.
Cllr Sharon Keogan who has been a driving force behind the Dullek Text Alert Scheme and in progressing the CCTV project through to completion said the cameras going live was a great boost for Dullek and the community.
“Our vision was to make our communities safer places to live in. We were blighted by crime and this was compounded by cutbacks in Gardai and the lack of recruitment so we had to take action. This Duleek Text Alert Scheme got together to provide the service and it’s certainly no-go area for criminals from now on.”
The launch of the new system at Duleek Garda station was attended by Meath Division Chief Superintendent Fergus Healy and Supt Jim Cannon from the Ashbourne District who was full of praise for the new system.
“It’s going to be a major advance for policing in this particular town, it’s going to give us the option to monitor activity from here in Duleek and in Ashbourne Garda stations and it’s a credit to the local community here who got this system up and running.
“This is top of the range kit we have here. It’s going to make a massive difference to crime reduction and to crime investigation in this particular part of the country.”
Watch the video at www.meathchronicle.ie