Superintendent P Burke Ballymote, Muintir na Tire Community Alert Development Officer Vanessa Clarke and committee members at the launch of Ballinacarrow Community Text Alert Committee 2022

Every community is very different to even its nearest neighbour so there is no clear answer to this question.

Ballinacarrow in Co Sligo recently reactivated. There had been a Community Alert group in the area from the early nineties when a group of local ladies who were active ICA members took on the idea. The group from the start became very proactive in securing safety items for members of the community. At that time funding was available to community based groups to purchase key chains, door locks, door viewers dusk to dawn security lighting and personal alarms. Area representatives identified individuals in their townlands who lived alone, were isolated by distance and had little family support nearby. These people were neighbours and everyone looked out for each other and helped out as needed. The area suffered very little by way of crime and there was a good relationship with the local members of An Garda Siochana.

As years rolled on, so too did committee members to do other things and slowly the energy of the group waned. There was the odd mention that perhaps the committee would move forward to having a text alert system for the area, a meeting would be held and there it lay.

Early 2022, a local break in, communities on high alert after a life threatening attack on an elderly man in a neighbouring community and it was all systems go. It was time to hold a public meeting to get the feeling of the community. A resounding yes from the 65+ people in attendance was the start of six weeks of high activity. As in the nineties, people in communities where they live want to feel safe, they want to know that there is a positive community relationship with An Garda Siochana.

Community Alert is a recognized partnership which facilitates better community safety while respecting the needs of the local area.Ba