Dublin Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone today raised the issue of community-based crime text alerts in the Seanad. Senator Noone said: “To date, trials of these in both urban and rural areas have been successful. They work as, in effect, a 21st century equivalent of neighbourhood watch. If – heaven forbid – there is a break-in in a house on a road, where the burglar enters via an open window, then a text is sent to residents in the vicinity warning them about the nearby burglary and urging them to check their own windows. It’s common sense”.
Senator Noone added: “In many cases, burglaries these days aren’t one-offs, and burglars will attempt to get to two, three, maybe four houses in one sweep. As such, crime text alerts are a useful mechanism to potentially prevent this from happening. Similarly, they can work as a large deterrent if signs are placed in windows, much like the older Neighbourhood Watch signs, denoting that this is a so-called ‘text alert area’”.
Senator Noone continued: “I have urged the Minister for Justice to consider the issuance of a one-off grant in order to aid either community groups or An Garda Siochana to get these services up and running in their locality. I believe that this one-off cost will pay dividends for communities, towns and villages in terms of preventing crimes and encouraging people to be active, alert and vigilant when it comes to their own roads and areas”.
Senator Noone concluded: “As we seek to make a more modern, efficient, responsive and accessible Gardai, the introduction of preventative community text alerts on a national level – with the assistance of a small amount of grant funding centrally – could work wonders to ensure that people feel safer in their own homes, towns and villages. As part of the continuous process of modern policing, community text alerts should play a central role, and that is why I introduced the adjournment motion today and attempted to highlight the issue”.