People power: Local community rallies together and breaks law to defy Government’s inaction on rural crime – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

People power: Local community rallies together and breaks law to defy Government’s inaction on rural crime




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A group of residents in the hamlet of Errill, Co. Laois, rallied together and defied planning laws to counterbalance the Government’s inability to tackle rural crime in the area.

The community pitched in and raised €15,000 to purchase and install a network of CCTV cameras that covers every approach route to the area, a move which they say has caused a massive drop in burglaries and other crime over the last 12 months, when compared with the period prior to that.

The camera network was erected without planning permission, because residents believed they could not afford to wait for redtape to come through, as it could take months, if not years.

The undertaking was led by a local businessman, Martin Bergin, who said that even Gardai lauded his initiative, as police resources are clearly insufficient to deal with criminality.

Mr. Bergin said “There has been a lot of talk about change but the reality is that there has been no change.”

“I think the Government should have brought in an outsider with fresh thinking to run the gardaí after the removal of Martin Callinan. A lot of individual gardaí also agree with that.
“Our nearest garda station is Abbeyleix which is a half hour away and it closes every night at 9pm.

“They have only one squad car to cover a huge area 50 miles wide so what chance have they of providing the level of policing that is needed.”

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