New County-wide Community Alert Messaging Service launching today

Monaghan Joint Policing Committee are today launching a new, FREE countywide messaging service which provides Garda messages on crime and community safety to all parts of the county.

The service is available to all residents in Co Monaghan, including those who live in areas which do not currently have a community alert group.  There is no subscription fee, as Monaghan Co Co is covering the cost of messages.

Subscribers can opt to sign up to receive messages to their devices by APP, or more traditionally to a mobile phone by text.

APP users simply download the KOMEER app from the app store, enter their contact details then search for ‘Monaghan Community Alerts’ and apply to join the group.

TEXT users need to  sign and return a registration form, which they can collect from any library branch or Garda station.

 Monaghan Community Alerts explainer

More information: https://monaghan.ie/monaghan-community-alerts

A National First for Monaghan Groups

Yet another first was recorded last night in Co. Monaghan, when James O Neill from newly launched charity Property Marking Ireland came up to Monaghan Community Safety Network’s summer meeting to deliver the first road signs to communities which have completed property marking campaigns in their areas.

Oram Mullyash,  Kilmore Swanns Cross, Clones and Mullaghmatt all took possession of brand new signs, which warn would-be thieves that possessions in the area are marked. The signs carry the Garda logo, to leave thieves in no doubt that this scheme has the official backing of An Garda Siochana.

Speaking at last night’s Community Safety Network events, Sgt Ken Coughlan, who was instrumental in bringing the property marking scheme into Carrickmacross on a pilot basis last year,  remarked that the number of thefts in the Carrickmacross area had dramatically reduced after bringing in the scheme, and that he was convinced that the scheme would have a tremendous impact on crime.

‘Until now, it has been next to impossible for Gardaí to reunite recovered items with their owners.  Warehouses full of  bikes, lawnmowers and other items are auctioned off when they are unclaimed each year after being recovered by Gardaí. If these items had their owners’ Eircodes printed onto them, finding their rightful owners is a simple click of the mouse exercise.’

Sgt Coughlan also pointed out how having items clearly marked with an owner’s Eircode makes it much easier to deal with travelling gangs.

“When we stop a vehicle that is acting suspiciously, and find that it is full of tools, who is to say that those tools don’t all belong to the driver of the vehicle?  But if we were to find tools with an Eircode in that vehicle, and that Eircode did not correspond to the address of the driver, then we can make an immediate arrest on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.  We can also call in to the station and find out if any equipment has been reported stolen from that Eircode’s address. That person could have their property back before they know it’s gone!”

Monaghan County Council is the first Council to have purchased a property marking machine, and is lending it out to community groups, sports clubs, and businesses free of charge as part of a Joint Policing Committee initiative to reduce crime.   Since purchasing the machine at the start of the year, other Councils have now followed Monaghan’s lead, and Cavan now has its own machine, with Sligo, Donegal and Louth also considering investing in their own machines.   The PSNI has recently purchased four machines, and will be carrying out property marking events all over Northern Ireland, which will hopefully make an impact on cross border thefts, which have plagued parts of this county.

The machine works by punching a series of holes, in the shape of the property owner’s Eircode, into the item to be marked.  The size and depth of the lettering can be changed, to take account of the material being marked, such as hard metal or soft plastic.  Any material that you can make a hole in without shattering can be marked with this technique; it’s not suitable for glass, for example, which will shatter.  It will, however, mark things like trailers, caravans, ride on lawnmowers, strimmers, power tools, generators, leather saddles, carbon fibre bikes, golf clubs, plastic games consoles, TV’s, tablets and smartphones.

“Anything from an iPhone to an Ifor Williams!”

To book the machine, contact the Community Section of Monaghan County Council on 047 30500 or email Fionnuala at fmulligan@monaghancoco.ie or Carol at clambe@monaghancoco.ie

The Community Safety Network is one of the Networks affiliated to the PPN, and brings together all the Community Alert, Community Text Alert, Community First Responders, CPR groups, defibrillator groups and others who are working to improve safety in Co. Monaghan.   They provide PPN Representation on the Joint Policing Committee, amongst others.

PPN Urges the Public and the Community Sector to Review Important Strategies

Monaghan Public Participation Network has today put out a call to the general public, and to the community & voluntary sector to alert them to a number of important documents which are currently out to public consultation.

The documents in question have the power to influence where funding goes in the county, and what it gets spent on. Funding will be prioritised to issues and areas which are identified in the Strategies, and people and projects in areas not prioritised may find it much more difficult to access funding in the very near future.

Documents currently out to public consultation include the first stage of the Local Community Development Committee’s Local Community Plan. The LCDC is the body through which all government, and much EU funding is to be channelled. Funds coming through the LCDC since 2015 include the SICAP programme which provides Monaghan Integrated Development with the bulk of its funding, and the new LEADER programme, which will have €7.6 million to allocate to projects in Co Monaghan over the next five years.

What gets prioritised in these programmes will very much depend on what is identified as a priority in the LCDC’s Plan, so ignore it at your peril!

Also out for consultation is the Joint Policing Committee’s draft Strategic Plan, which identifies three priority areas which it will concentrate on over the next five years. Issues covered in the Plan include combating the fear of crime, promoting road safety and extending Community Alert to cover the whole county. The JPC is asking the community to tell it if the right things are being prioritised. Again, projects will be developed around the identified priorities, and funding will be allocated to them. As there is not an endless supply of funding, it is inevitable that some issues will be left out. Now is the time to ensure that the issues closest to your heart don’t become sidelined.

The PPN is also asking the public to review the Key Actions in the County Council’s Tourism Strategy, and to ensure that the right projects are being put forward for development. Projects included in the draft Strategy include extending the Ulster Canal Greenway, upgrading facilities at Lough Muckno and extending the trails out on Sliabh Beagh. A focus on heritage tourism is also promoted. Many community festivals and tourism amenities rely on County Council support to continue. But if your facility/ event isn’t listed in the Tourism Strategy, it will not be a priority for support going forward.

The message is clear: if you run a project, or are thinking of developing one in the next few years, you need to know what changes are being made to the supports which are available to you. Now is the time to ensure your project is covered in the new strategic documents; failure to have a look and have your say at this draft stage may lead to a very nasty surprise in twelve months’ time when you go looking for funding…..

The PPN is organising a Summer Event in Corcaghan Community Centre on Tuesday 16th June at 8pm. The event is an opportunity for the public and community groups to learn about the many changes at strategic level and have their say on the key documents outlined above.

There will also be a presentation on the new LEADER programme, and how it is to be rolled out in Co. Monaghan. This will be of interest to community groups, but also to individuals thinking of developing a business idea, as the LEADER programme provides support to rural diversification projects.

Monaghan Public Participation Network is a relatively new organisation, having been established following last year’s Local Elections. Its purpose is to enable the public and community sector to link into the decision-making bodies in the county. In addition to running consultation events such as the Summer Event in Corcaghan, the PPN sources community reps to serve on a wide range of decision-making bodies, including the Council’s four Strategic Policy Committees, the Joint Policing Committee and the LCDC, a body which was also established in 2014.

The PPN is currently seeking community reps to serve on the board of Monaghan Integrated Development. MID runs a variety of programmes which aim to support the most vulnerable people in Co. Monaghan, including the unemployed, older people, people with a disability and young people not in education or training.

If you are interested in serving as a community rep, you can download the nomination form here, or by phoning Monaghan County Council’s Community Department, where someone will be happy to assist you. The closing date for nominations has been extended to Friday 12th June.

The PPN’s Summer Event in Corcaghan on Tuesday 16th June promises to be a very informative and rewarding night. Allen McAdam, former manager of the Cavan Monaghan LEADER programme, will be present to guide the meeting through the main strategic decisions facing the community sector. At the end of the evening, there will be a draw for two prizes of €250 for PPN member groups which are present on the night.

All community and voluntary groups are encouraged to register with the PPN. Membership is free, and open to all groups with an address in Co. Monaghan. All types of group are eligible for membership, including sports clubs, residents associations, women’s groups and youth clubs. Being a member of the PPN is a good way of keeping in touch with what is happening out there in Funding Land, as the PPN issues a fortnightly newsletter to its members. It is also increasingly becoming a prerequisite for receiving funding, particularly from Monaghan County Council.   Groups can register on the night, or online at www.ppnmonaghan.ie

Can your Group help spread the word about the Garda Home Security Challenge?

 

Supporting Safer Communities Campaign safety week 2015

 

“Take the home Security Checklist Challenge”

 

The Supporting Safer Communities Campaign will be officially launched by the Assistant Commissioner Nolan at Bloom on Thursday, the 28th May 2015. It is running from Thursday, the 28th May to Wednesday, the 3rd June 2015.  The focus of the campaign is on “HOME SECURITY” and Gardaí are encouraging the public to take the “Home Security Checklist Challenge

Figures from An Garda Síochána Analysis Service indicate a rise in the number of reported residential burglaries over the last year. They point out that two out of three burglaries occur in the home.

 

The analysis also shows that on average over 50% of burglars enter through the rear of the home and 20% enter through an unlocked door or window. In June this number rises to 30%.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit said:

 

“Burglars like easy opportunities. If they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk being seen, the chances are they won’t bother. A good rule of thumb is the 3 minute delay test. If you can deny entry for 3 minutes or more – chances are the burglars will go elsewhere.

 

Robust Doors and Windows, properly fitted with quality locking systems present a good physical barrier to the burglar. However if a door or window has been left open, their security qualities won’t make any difference.

 

Good neighbours are priceless, particularly when you’re going away. Leave a key with a trusted neighbour. Get them to collect your post and your deliveries if you haven’t already cancelled them. They might even leave their spare car in your drive way when you’re away. Remember the burglar is looking for signs of an empty house so don’t give them any.

It’s always a good idea to join a community crime prevention programme like neighbourhood watch or community alert. There’s security in numbers.

 

The Home Security Checklist Challenge available here and on the Garda website is simple survey which takes a few minutes to complete and enables the house holder to see just how secure their home is.”

 

 

An Garda Síochána recommends people take the following steps to reduce the chances of their home being burgled:

 

–           Secure all doors and windows

–           Light up your home and use timer switches on lights for when you are out

–           Store keys safely and away from windows and letterboxes

–           Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home

–           Use your alarm, even when you are at home

 

An info graphic providing some of the information contained above is available via email from the Garda Press Office at pressoffice@garda.ie