- Group Name: Urlingford-Graine Community Text Alert
- Garda District: Kilkenny
- Contact Name: John Cahill
- Service Provider:CommunityAlerts.ie
- No. of Subscribers: 400
John Cahill of Urlingford-Graine Community Text Alert provided a background to their use of the CommunityAlerts.ie service and how it has been used for over a year as an excellent example of community text alert service in Co. Kilkenny. The group are affiliated to Muintir na Tire and are operating in the Kilkenny Garda District (Carlow-Kilkenny Garda Division).
Case Study: Urlingford Graine, by John Cahill (Chairman):
Crime was particularly bad in our parish approx four years ago. Many householders were broken into with money, jewellery and other items of sentimental value taken. In rural areas tractors, trailers and diesel oil was stolen on a regular basis. As a result of this spree of crime we called a public meeting in our community hall and it was attended by over 150 parishioners. Out of this meeting Community Alert was born. Local Gardai were present at most of these meetings and they gave feedback on the crime figures in our area.
We contacted Muinter Na Tire for advice. They were most helpful in presenting issues that could arise for our new committee. They gave us assurance and invaluable guidelines relating to insurance, texting and signage. They were also involved with other community groups in Cork, Wexford, and Tipperary. They pointed out a plan of action that our committee might pursue in advancing our project.
Approximately 18 months ago we called to all householders explaining the advantages of community text alert. This was a relatively easy task as crime levels were soaring and Garda numbers were reduced in our area. People were very receptive to our ideas and most householders contributed a small sum of money to cover the cost of sending out texts. To date we have approx 410 members in our text service system.
Over a year ago we joined up with CommunityAlerts.ie in order to send out texts in a quick and efficient manner. We have one central phone where members may contact when they see any suspicious activity in the locality. The holder of the phone will then contact the Gardai and send out text with the help of our service providers. In turn the Gardai can send out text to our members if they are alerted to suspicious activity in our parish or neighbouring parishes. It's a great system as we now have over 410 committed members in our parish watching out for each other. In recent times we have less crime and vandalism in our area.
In the next two weeks we hope to put up 20 Community Alert signs around our parish. These are bright new signs which display the Garda phone number. This encourages people to be alert to crime and watch out for older people in the locality. We also provide Panic Alarms and sensor lights to older people in the parish. In general our members are very happy with the sense of safety afforded to people in an era of rising crime rates nationwide.
John Cahill, Chairman of Urlingford-Graine Community Text Alert, Co. Kilkenny
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