Community groups working to prevent crime in Co. Wicklow can now avail of €150,000 that has been made available to them under the 2018 Text Alert Rebate Scheme by the government.
The Garda text alert scheme was launched in 2013 and has been a powerful tool in empowering communities to prevent crime in their area.
Minister of State and Wicklow TD, Andrew Doyle, welcomed the news and said “This scheme allows Text Alert Groups registered with An Garda Síochána to apply for a rebate towards the costs associated with running their local Text Alert Scheme.
“This initiative has developed as an important crime prevention mechanism with over 600 local groups across the country involving in excess of 120,000 subscribers and with an estimated 200,000 text messages sent each month under the scheme.
“It’s an efficient way of tackling crime, allowing Gardaí to provide crime prevention information to community contacts who in turn forward the information to all members of a community group.
“This funding is just one element of the Government’s work on crime prevention in rural communities.”
Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan added: “In addition, Operation Thor, which was introduced to tackle the threat of mobile burglary gangs, continues to deliver results off the back of significant investment in Garda overtime, ICT equipment and high-powered vehicles by this Government.
“While recent Crime Statistics released by the CSO indicate a rise in burglary offences year on year, it is important to recognise that, overall, the figures for burglaries nationwide are still down almost 25% from a high in 2015.
“Other rural crime prevention measures deployed by the Gardaí include initiatives to tackle the theft of metal including electrical cables, the theft of farm equipment and the theft of livestock.”
Minister Doyle added, “Fine Gael in Government will continue to prioritise crime prevention, which, as Minister Flanagan has said, is focused on two key objectives: investing in the capacity of An Garda Síochána to tackle criminals and enforce the law effectively; and updating and strengthening the law where necessary.
“This new funding for Text Alert will help community groups working to prevent crime across Wicklow. I commend all the local groups working in tandem with local Gardaí to provide a safer community for all those who live here.”