Gardaí using council CCTV test footage to investigate crime

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CCTV camera

GARDAÍ in County Limerick have already used closed-circuit television footage, which is still in the testing stage, to investigate crimes.

The rollout of CCTV coverage for towns and villages in County Limerick is now at a stage where cameras are up and running on a test basis but already, Gardaí have requested footage from particular dates and are using that footage to investigate crimes.

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That’s according to Limerick City and County Council’s Director of Digital Strategy Mihai Bilauca who last week’s Cappamore/Kilmallock district meeting that the Gardaí said that the quality of imaging from the cameras is excellent.

“Automatic face recognition – where a computer can identify an individual – is not permitted in Ireland but Gardaí are allowed to view footage and identify individuals.

“The system will not go live until we have completed consultation with all of the communities involved and the council members. Some communities may want more cover, some may want less. It’s important with CCTV monitoring to do it right,” he said.

There are now 277 CCTV cameras monitoring the city and county and “demand is increasing for cover from communities every week.

He told members that a state-of-the-art new monitoring centre has just been completed in Moyross and from there, all of the cameras will be monitored.

Asked whether there is likely to be further funding to roll out CCTV in areas where it is not already provided, Mr Bilauca said that depends entirely on the authorities.

“When you install CCTV, it’s not just about the capital cost. You also have to have money to maintain the system,” he said.

Mr Bilauca said that the system, when it is fully operational, will be totally transparent and each camera will have a code that can be scanned on a mobile phone and which will them display all the information about the camera at that location.

“People will be able to see a map of where all of the cameras are located, This will be a completely transparent process,” he said.