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Councillor Johnny Flynn: “People who have mortgages feel trapped. There is an attempt to control the estate by fear.”

Text system to help with public order mooted for Clare


GARDAÍ in Ennis are to be asked to examine the feasibility of rolling out a system which would allow people to text in reports of suspicious activity.

The ‘See Something, Say Something’ system has already been a success in Tralee with a reported drop in reported public order offences a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District heard this week.

The council agreed to request local gardaí “in the interest of public safety” to look at the possibility of introducing the system to the county capital.

Proposing the idea, Councillor Johnny Flynn outlined that the text based system, developed by Tralee-based company ZinMobi, allows members to report suspicious activity anonymously to gardaí.

The councillor stated, “We all love and are proud of Ennis, our county capital town centre which over the last few years and for the next five years will see  well over €15 million invested in its public spaces, main square, streets, lanes and bowways and other public spaces. But like all large Irish towns, sometimes there can be a small element who negatively affect how people enjoy the  town centre.”

He said he and his fellow councillors, “Do not want to tolerate anything that negatively impacts on the quality of life of us all, particularly for women’s freedom of safe movement in public spaces.”

Speaking about the text system, he outlined, “Following from its introduction in 2018 in Tralee gardaí there subsequently reported a 25% drop in public order offences the following year. I understand they also received additional garda resources in Tralee based on the incidences reported.”

Councillor Flynn, who is chair of the Ennis Purple Flag Working Group, acknowledged the cooperation and involvement  of the group including senior members of Ennis Gardai, Council and Ennis MD staff, Ennis Chamber and the town’s hospitality sector during a recent assessment of the town centre.

During that assessment the group had the opportunity to see first-hand CCTV monitoring in Ennis Garda Station which has resulted in a “major improvement” in the level of security in town, he said.

He continued, “Public outdoor spaces and our experiences in them have a huge impact on all of our quality of lives,  in particular our sense of personal safety.”

The councillor detailed a “Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative “ (HaPAI) survey which found among other things that  25.6% of woman in urban areas were most likely to feel unsafe whilst
“out and about” as against less than 10% of woman living in rural areas or villages feeling unsafe “out and about”. 

“A safe town is a busy town and we make places safer and more enjoyable for residents, employees, shoppers and visitors by investing in attractive streetscapes, improved public lighting, CCTV and other technological systems to support the work of the gardaí,” he said.

It was agreed by the Ennis Municipal District that the council would write to Ennis Gardaí to consider the proposal.

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