Over 600,000 texts alerting people to potential criminal activity in their local area have been sent to individuals and communities across the country during the first year of the crime prevention Text Alert system.
Text Alert now has over 450 Text Alert groups in towns and villages throughout the country with more than 80,000 people signing-up to the scheme, launched a year ago this week.
A joint initiative of An Garda Síochána, Muintir na Tíre, Neighbourhood Watch and the Irish Farmers Association, Text Alert enables communities to set up a group to receive alerts advising them of suspicious or criminal activity in their area. As well as ensuring awareness among users of the service, it can also lead to them reporting suspicious activity to gardaí.
“We have found that as an immediate, cost effective method of engagement with the communities we serve, the Text Alert system has proved to be invaluable. We will continue to ensure that the system is used in conjunction with communities around the country, both rural and urban, as it has proved to be a worthwhile method of engagement,”commented Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan.
President of Muintir na Tíre, John Hogan said the initiative allows communities to rapidly exchange information, and gives communities a say in policing in their own areas.”
Mr Patrick Walsh of Neighbourhood Watch said communities have experienced a reduction in burglaries since engaging in Text Alert.
IFA president, Eddie Downey stressed the scheme’s importance as a vital tool in preventing rural crime.