Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said last week the text alert scheme has been tremendously successful, and revealed increased numbers using it.
“Working with the IFA, Muintir na Tíre and Neighbourhood Watch, we set up 700 text alert groups up and down the country with more than 125,000 members.
"More than one million texts have been sent under the system,” Ms O’Sullivan told the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality.
Deputy Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin said, “We are working with Muintir na Tíre to ensure the system can be replicated everywhere, especially in rural areas, where we have great successes on a weekly basis based on the level of traffic.”
Ms O’Sullivan confirmed that statistics show burglaries in rural areas are down, and increasing in urban areas.
“We have launched Thor, which is a multi-strand approach to targeting crime in urban and rural areas in terms of respect of engagement, visibility, community and making sure people are out there.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Farmers Association has appointed a rural crime prevention executive.
Colin Connolly, a former member of An Garda Siochána, will support development of IFA’s crime prevention policy, and the roll out of Theft Stop, a joint initiative with An Garda Siochána.
Theft Stop is designed to deter criminals and enable recovery of stolen items, by ensuring machinery is clearly marked with a unique ID that is registered on Theft Stop’s nationwide database.
It has been successfully piloted in Tipperary and Donegal.
IFA President Eddie Downey has encouraged country dwellers, and farmers in particular, to become part of the initiative by registering.