English encourages communities to apply for CCTV funding

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Johnstown, Killyon, Law and Order, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Summerhill, Trim, Wesmeath

–          Up to 60% of total capital cost available, up to maximum
grant of €40,000
–          Scheme remains open with funding of €1m available each year

Thursday, 26th April 2018

The Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, and Meath West Fine Gael
T.D. Damien English, has encouraged groups in Meath and Westmeath to
apply for the Community based CCTV grant-aid scheme established by the
Justice Department to assist communities in the establishment of CCTV
systems in their local areas. Under the scheme, community groups can
apply for grant-aid of up to 60% of the total capital cost of a
proposed system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000.

Minister English stated: “I am very anxious to ensure that all
interested groups, in both rural and urban areas of Meath West, take
advantage of the availability of this grant-aid scheme. Full details
of the grant aid package are available to download from the Justice
Department website www.justice.ie and officials in that Department are
available to provide additional guidance on the application process
should that be helpful.”

The scheme was developed in line with a commitment in the Programme
for a Partnership Government to support investment in CCTV systems at
key locations along the road network and in urban centres. The scheme
is currently due to run until April 2020 with funding of some €1
million being made available each year.

Minister English added: “The investment represented by the
community-based CCTV grant-aid scheme reflects the value that
communities, especially rural communities, place on CCTV as a means of
deterring crime and assisting in the detection of offenders. I am
conscious too that An Garda Síochána have reviewed the effectiveness
of CCTV systems and indicated that it utilises CCTV in almost every
criminal investigation, during major public events and sporting
occasions, in the investigation of road traffic incidents and in many
other areas requiring police action.  Community-based CCTV systems
have therefore proven to be of significant assistance in the
prevention and detection of crime throughout the State.”

The grant-aid scheme is intended to supplement the existing network of
CCTV systems.  For example there are some 35 Garda CCTV schemes in
operation throughout the State comprising in excess of 500 cameras.
There are also some 45 Community-based CCTV schemes in operation,
established under a previous grant-aid scheme funded by the Department
between 2005 and 2013, encompassing some 367 cameras to which An Garda
Síochána have access. Regarding the road network, services under the
Garda Safety Camera contract commenced in May 2017 and provide an
annual minimum of 90,000 hours of monitoring and surveying vehicle
speed across 1,031 designated safety camera zones. Further expansion
of the use of technologies including CCTV and Automatic Number Plate
Recognition is included under the Garda Commissioner’s Modernisation
and Renewal Programme 2016-2021.


Note for editors:

Application forms and guidance documents can be downloaded at

The rules governing establishment of community CCTV schemes are
provided for in the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended, and in the
Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006. This legal framework requires
proposed community CCTV schemes to:

–          have the prior support of the relevant Local Authority,
which must act as data controller in respect of the system;
–          be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee; and
–          have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner in
accordance with Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

800 new Gardai to be recruited and trained in next year – English

Action Plan for Jobs, Jobs, Law and Order, Meath, Wesmeath

“I welcome the news that 800 new Gardai will be recruited and trained
in the next year, with a plan in place for a further 3,200 over the
next 4 years. This will bring the force to 15,000 Gardai which will
make all of our communities safer places to live and work in” the
Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal and Fine Gael T.D. for Meath
West Damien English has stated this morning.

“There is no doubt that the pause in recruitment and training during
the years of recession and Troika had an impact on Garda numbers, but
Fine Gael in Government has prioritised recruitment and training of
1,200 new Gardai already and new Garda vehicles as the resources have
allowed.  i am delighted that this morning we now have an accelerated
recruitment campaign in place, especially in light of retirements that
will take place in the coming years” stated Minister English.

“The new Garda positions will be advertised on publicjobs.ie with the
closing date on Thursday 29th September. I will be urging the Minister
for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to ensure that the Meath West
Constituency gets its fair share of increased Garda numbers” concluded
Minister English.

English encourages potential Gardaí in Meath to apply for new posts

Jobs, Law and Order
Recruitment of 600 new Gardaí now underway on publicjobs.ie

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Skills, Research and Innovation and Fine Gael TD for Meath West, Damien English, has encouraged those interested in Meath to apply for one of 600 new positions available with An Garda Síochána. The recruitment campaign is now underway and applications are being accepted on
www.publicjobs.ie until 5th January 2016.

“The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, today (Friday) announced the opening of a recruitment campaign for new members of An Garda Síochána in 2016. The 600 new Gardaí, to be recruited next year, will bring to 1,150 the total number of new recruits since the reopening of Templemore in September 2014.  

“So far 295 new recruits have completed their training and are now are on the ground in communities nationwide as fully fledged members of An Garda Síochána. It is expected that successful candidates from the 2016 campaign will enter the Garda College from mid-2016.

“Serving as a member of An Garda Síochána is a great privilege, but the position comes with great responsibility. I know that there are many capable and ambitious people in Meath who would make an excellent contribution to the force and I would encourage anyone interested to apply.

“The ongoing recruitment of Gardaí is testament to this Government’s commitment to supporting An Garda Síochána and to ensuring that they have to resources necessary to protect our communities.

“This Government has reopened Templemore after it was closed by the previous Government; €46 million has been allocated for Garda vehicles, many of which will be high-power vehicles for targeted operations; €18 million is being provided for the refurbishment of Garda stations and €205 million has been invested in new technology for An Garda Síochána This is part of an unprecedented allocation of €875 million in capital funding for the Justice sector.

“We know that 75% of burglaries are carried out by 25% of criminals so Minister Fitzgerald has published the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill, which will mean tougher sentences for repeat burglars and she has launched Operation Thor to tackle rural crime.

“It is essential that we keep the recovery going so that we can continue to invest in public services and to provide resources for An Garda Síochána who do such valuable work.”

National crackdown of habitual burglars will help Meath and Westmeath – English

Law and Order, Meath, North Meath, Wesmeath

With Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Local Meath West Fine Gael T.D. and the Minister for Skills, Research
and Innovation Damien English T.D. has stated the new nationwide
crackdown on crime codenamed ‘Operation Thor’ launched today targeting
the worst offenders in the State will benefit Meath and Westmeath.

Six criminal gangs and more than 200 habitual burglars have been
identified by Gardai for Operation Thor.

Among those identified by Gardai are six mobile gangs – based mainly
in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Sligo – who are suspected of carrying
out nightly robberies using high-powered cars on the motorway network,
leaving Counties like Meath and Westmeath particularly vulnerable as
they are well served by the motorway network and easily accessible.

New Garda resources and measures as part of this crackdown will
include regional support units and traffic corps patrolling the
motorway network, backed up by local personnel.

Minister English commented:

“This Government has ended the moratorium on Garda recruitment, with
1,150 Gardaí being recruited. We have invested over €34 million in new
Garda vehicles since 2012 with over 640 new vehicles coming on stream
in 2015, ranging from more Garda patrol cars to high-powered vehicles
for armed units. This will ensure Gardaí can be mobile, visible and
responsive, on the roads and in the community. We are also investing
in airborne surveillance and enhanced technology and ICT systems.

“In addition in excess of €5 million is being committed to support
Operation Thor. This allocation, which includes funding for Garda
overtime will support a combination of additional patrols,
checkpoints, rapid armed response and public awareness measures.”

Week in Politics Sunday 27th September 2015

Farming, Law and Order, Meath, Research and Innovation, Wesmeath

Today Sunday I participated on the Week in Politics panel representing the Government.  Amongst the issues covered were the recovery in rural Ireland, childcare, the Millennium Development Goals and Junior Cert. reform.  You can see the programme on RTE Player below:


Minister English welcomes new law to clamp down on burglary

Law and Order, Meath, Wesmeath

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said that a new law, which will clampdown on repeat burglary offenders, will make a significant difference in tackling crime in Counties Meath and Westmeath. Minister English was speaking following the publication of the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Bill 2015 by his colleague Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.

“Garda Síochána data shows that 75% of burglaries are committed by the same 25% of burglars. It is clear that it is the same few who are causing trauma for many, and that the deterrents in place up until now were not enough. This new Bill is targeted at those repeat burglars who have previous convictions and who are charged with multiple offences.

“The new Bill will mean that where a burglar is being sentenced for multiple offences, the District Court will impose consecutive jail sentences. This new law will also allow the courts to refuse bail for offenders who have a previous conviction for domestic burglary, coupled with two or more pending charges.

“I am confident that targeting repeat offenders has the potential to significantly reduce the number of burglaries being committed here in Meath West and across the country.

“Home is the place where we should all feel most safe and secure. This is why Minister Fitzgerald undertook a review of how the criminal justice system treats burglaries.

“This Bill is designed to keep repeat burglars off the streets and to improve the safety of our communities. “In addition to the new legislation €700,000 has also been allocated to An Garda Síochána for the purchase of specialist vehicles to support the Gardaí in tacking highly-mobile criminal gangs, including those involved in burglaries.

“I hope that the Bill will be passed by the Dáil and Seanad as early as possible, so that this law can be implemented to tackle burglars affecting homes and families in Meath and Westmeath” concluded Minister English.