Politics

Call to reinstate community alert groups for ‘peace of mind’

February 15th, 2024 12:30 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllr Coakley wondered if there was any way to ‘rejuvenate’ the community groups.

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A SKIBBEREEN-based councillor has called for the reactivation of community alert groups across the county.

Cllr Karen Coakley (Ind) raised the issue at last week’s meeting of the Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) and said she was part of the original community alert group in her home town. ‘Everyone agrees they are a fundamental part of the community and having people involved in such groups is a great deterrent.

‘I know the gardaí are under serious pressure and trying to give time but I’m hoping that we can reactivate our groups,’ said Cllr Coakley.

‘I think it’s something that probably needs to be done all over the county, and even the country, as we need more participation on this. Is there anything we can do to rejuvenate these important groups?

‘I know of one group who was money in the kitty and it seems a shame if the money is there and they’re not able to use it. I think these groups give people, especially the elderly a great peace of mind.’

Cllr Cathal Rasmussen (Lab) said it was always a great initiative but noted that in some cases people in housing estates are involved in a text group, which may have replaced community alert groups in some instances.

Supt Michael Corbett said some community alert groups work very well, while others may not have been as active.

‘As always there is a cost factor involved for the texts going out and some fundraising has to be carried out, too, to keep funds in the kitty,’ he said. ‘Some groups are definitely more active than others and it’s something we could look at and see how we can improve on them.

‘They are definitely worthwhile initiatives, especially in rural areas.’ He also noted that other media platforms may have taken over from the text alerts.

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