ANY homeowner can get a free, written report on their security vulnerabilities from the local crime prevention offficer, West Cork’s Chief Supt Con Cadigan told a meeting last week.
The Chief Supt was speaking at a meeting to unveil the Caheragh Community Alert group.
The meeting heard that Sgt Ian O’Callaghan would call to any property or small business and give them information on their security weaknesses. He will also give them advice on how to better secure property and equipment.
‘For example, how many people use their CCTV for calving outside of the calving season?’ asked the Chief Supt. The response was that nobody did.
He explained that CCTV cameras could also be connected to apps on smartphones to allow constant monitoring of premises. ‘Ian will advise you on all of this technology,’ he said, ‘and it has come down in price too,’ he said.
Alarms for the elderly are also much easier to use than before, and much more user-friendly, he said. ‘If you have a relative who might want to avail of one, please don’t be shy about coming forward for advice,’ he said.
The Chief Supt also explained how CCTV in towns through West Cork was having a very positive effect on detection of crime. ‘Dunmanway is getting it and Macroom is half-way through installing their system. Bantry has 11 cameras and that will be increasing,’ he said.
Chief Supt Cadogan said he recently spoke to Minister Michael Creed who informed him that more funding for CCTV will be coming on stream to allow small rural villages and places like Caheragh to avail of it. Because of the data protection laws, the gardaí cannot use the cameras for prosecutions, but they can use them to help with detection. It has been very successful in this way, he said.
Crime prevention officer Sgt O’Callaghan pointed out that the new devices for the elderly are now more advanced than the older neck pendants. The new wristband pendants are also waterproof and can be monitored for about €1 a week.
There is grant-aiding to cover the entire cost of the pendant and installation, he pointed out, and there is also a bogus caller button for the door, which can alert a monitoring station which will listen to any conversations taking place at the door, and alert named friends of relations, if deemed necessary.
The pendants also operate for about 100m outside the house, for example in the garden or the driveway.
Sgt O’Callaghan also alerted the farming community to a website called theftstop.ie which is an initiative between the gardaí and the IFA. It is free to register, and offers great advice and tips on security, he said.
He added that getting stencilling equipment for marking property was about €50 for IFA members and approximately €75 for non-members. He said the site also allowed you to upload photographs of your property.