GARDAÍ in Ennis are planning to link into the commercial CCTV systems across the town tying them into the state-of-the-art CCTV garda system already in place, it was revealed at a recent business watch meeting.
Speaking at a meeting on Thursday where a new business watch group was established for the Ballymaley Industrial Estate, Superintendent P eter Duff said, “We are hoping to link in the commercial CCTV systems to our system in the garda station so that if we get a call to say there is a suspicious vehicle in the Ballymaley Industrial Estate but it is gone now, we could look at the CCTV instantly and if we see a car matching that description on another system on the Quin Road we can pursue it.”
A presentation was given to representatives from businesses in the Ballymaley Industrial Estate by Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Joe Downey, who outlined key pieces of information in protecting and securing businesses and property.
Superintendent Duff also addressed the group and discussed other measures that are at the gardaí’s disposal if they become aware of issues at industrial estates such as Ballymaley.
“We have an armed regional response unit, which we have access to and we can target business industrial estates and have use of for visual checks,” he said.
He added that Ennis “is not a high crime area and we aim to keep it that way”.
However, he stressed, “There are criminals working in Ennis and criminals are allergic to light. We have been hit with a number of thefts of home heating oil but if you put a sensor light over your oil tank and I’ve done this myself in my own house, then people who don’t have any business near your tank will be lit up. When we are on patrol, if we see a sensor light come on in a house or property, we have a look to see what is causing it. It might just be you putting out your bins but it’s noticed,” he said.
He added that the main crime trend the gardaí are facing in Clare currently is the theft of high-value metals, such as copper and lead. He said this has been an issue particularly in ghost estates and in houses under construction.
“We have got some success in dealing with this crime and we are working with a number of scrap dealers,” Superintendent Duff said.
“We are here to reduce criminal activity but we need to increase the number of neighbourhood watches and business watches. It is all about communication,” he continued.
The superintendent stressed that the setting up of these groups is of assistance to gardaí especially in the current climate where he is operating with “a finite amount of resources”. Therefore call-outs are “prioritised” to those where there is a more immediate risk.
“The bad news is that there is to be no garda recruitment and if someone retires, they will not be replaced. I would like more resources and I am fighting my corner for Ennis but there are others fighting their corners but the issue is we have got a smaller pool,” he concluded.
A business watch representative was chosen at the conclusion of the meeting and Garda Cyril Page from Ennis Garda Station was assigned to liaise with the group to monitor any issues they have.
Meanwhile, crime prevention officer Sergeant Joe Downey said the gardaí offer a free security check service to businesses and he is available to talk with staff or to give advice to companies who wish to improve their security or indeed with anyone wishing to set up a business watch group.
Any queries can be directed to Ennis Garda Station on 065 6848100.