Kieran Foley reports
WATERFORD Gardaí are seeking to “rejuvenate” Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the locality.
At the Waterford City & County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting, Cllr Joe Kelly (Ind) sought information on the number of Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch schemes currently in existence in the city and the county.
He also asked about the resources which are put behind these schemes in terms of Garda involvement.
In response, Superintendent Chris Delaney said that there are over 100 Community Alert/Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Waterford.
He said there were a number of reasons for this, including people getting older or moving to other areas.
“One of the issues we have identified is that people aren’t volunteering as much as they used to,” he said.
“In essence they’ve gone into survival mode because of work and the economy. They may no longer have time which they had in 2005 and 2006 perhaps.”
He added: “The days where we can have one person as a co-ordinator for one housing estate is a non-runner. Part of our plan at the moment is to rejuvenate but also to amalgamate.”
Supt Delaney said Gardaí were trying to identify people, particularly in bigger estates, who may be able to help with this rejuvenation.
Cllr Kelly also sought information on how many Gardaí are designated as community police officers and how effective community policing is in Waterford.
He said he understood that the numbers of Gardaí assigned and dedicated to the role had been reduced.
In response to Cllr Kelly’s queries, Supt Delaney said there was a significant number involved in community policing in Waterford.
He said the figure was “comparative” to other years.
“The value of community policing to us is huge,” he said.
“Virtually all of the successes we have go back to community policing.”
He explained that Gardaí were finalising plans in relation to community policing and would come back with a detailed written reply in relation to Cllr Kelly’s queries.