Numerous groups throughout the locality are striving to prevent instances of criminal activity within their own communities. One of the most active such groups met in Ballyduff Community Centre last week.
CRIME, and particularly rural crime, has once again been under the spotlight both locally and nationally in recent times.
There are many groups throughout the country which have been specifically established in order to address this scourge which has blighted almost every community in some shape or form.
Here in County Waterford, we are fortunate to have a number of very active groups which are contributing to the ongoing fight against rural crime.
The High Road Community Alert Group was established in 2009 and later joined with the nearby Ballyduff group in November 2015.
Since then, the High Road/Ballyduff Community Alert group have progressed from strength to strength.
Community Alert is a community safety programme for rural areas with an emphasis on older and vulnerable people.
It operates as a partnership between the community, An Garda Síochána and Muintir na Tíre and works on the principle of shared responsibility for crime prevention and reduction.
The aims of the Community Alert Programme are: to foster the process of community development; to reduce opportunities for crimes to occur; to unite communities in a spirit of neighbourliness and community service; to devise programmes to improve the quality of life for all in rural communities
More than 50 people were in attendance at the latest meeting of the High Road/Ballyduff group which was held in Ballyduff Community Centre last week on what was a night of atrocious weather conditions.
The meeting heard of the findings from the ICSA (Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association) National Agriculture Crime Survey which was undertaken in conjunction with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
The survey was devised by Dr Kathleen Moore Walsh and Louise Walsh from WIT who outlined their findings to those gathered in Ballyduff.
Commenting on the report, Secretary of the High Road/Ballyduff Community Alert Group Jay Dowdall said: “We feel it is fitting for our group to highlight these findings. The cost of farm crime is not borne by the insurance company but by increased premiums to the agricultural community. As a community alert group, we are trying to present the real facts of what is going on in our own area and rural Ireland.”
For full text of this story see this week’s edition of The Munster Express newspaper