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Community Alert Funding to be Doubled - including new funding for local Text Alert Groups – McGrath

Independent Tipperary TD, Mattie McGrath has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, TD at the Ploughing Champions today, that funding for the Community Alert Programme has been doubled to €350,000 and now incorporates a new €100,000 rebate scheme for local groups registered under the Garda Text Alert Scheme.

Commenting on the announcement Deputy McGrath said, “I am very pleased that, following extensive negotiations during the establishment of the current Programme for Government, the Minister has included the Community Alert, Text Alert Initiative for this round of funding which was one of many of my priorities during the discussions.

While I acknowledge that this is smaller than I anticipated, it is a small appreciation of the vital service been afforded to rural crime prevention and I would hope it will serve as a stepping stone for further capital investment for what has become a vital local service for communities and indeed An Garda Siochana.

It is particularly welcome that funding will go directly to local groups who, on voluntary basis have established Text Alert Areas in their respective Communities. It is important that we continue to recognise and support the many people across County Tipperary that have signed up and paid up as members of Text Alert Groups, which are a wonderful example of people working with their local Gardai to protect and support their community.”

Following our extensive negotiations for the Programme for Government, I am happy that we have included a commitment to support and prioritise community crime prevention schemes, including Text Alert which is a commitment to supporting a partnership approach to crime prevention between local communities and An Garda Síochána.

As part of that commitment the Minister will review the operation of the Text Alert scheme early in 2017, together with the Garda Commissioner, with a view to supporting the operation of the Text Alert initiative into the future.”

Concluding Deputy McGrath added, “I particularly want to pay tribute to Liam Kelly, Coordinator of the Community Alert Scheme, Muintir na Tíre who was instrumental in the negotiations with An Garda Siochana and the IFA in establishing the Text Alert Initiative.”