Action to be taken on nuisance alarms
LEGISLATION GARDAI GET PERMISSION TO INTERVENE
A GARDA spokesman has said that the force will wait to see what format the proposed legislation allowing them to switch off nuisance alarms will take before they comment on whether or not it is welcome.
The Government is proposing measures to allow members of An Garda Siochána to switch off nuisance house and car alarms if the owners are absent.
The proposals would allow the Gardaí to enter the house of an absent householder to turn off a nuisance alarm and also to invoice the resident for any costs incurred.
The problem has been common around the town for several years, particularly in large housing estates and during times of year when people would be away, such as Christmas, summer and bank holiday weekends.
‘I don’t see what it is that stops people from just leaving a key with a neighbour or family member,’ said one resident of The Headlands in Bray, who said that she has been plagued by alarms going off at regular intervals and staying that way for several days.
‘On one occasion I had to go to stay with a relative because the alarm was so loud for the whole weekend and I couldn’t sleep properly. The Gardaí can’t do anything about it at the moment under current legislation.’
‘It’s definitely a source of severe irritation for people,’ said Garda Declan Lynch, who said that it is frustrating for members of the force who can do nothing to help neighbours disturbed by the noise.
‘It’s a source of nuisance and we can’t do anything about it but the likelihood of any well maintained alarm going off for no reason is low.’
He added that in the case of a properly monitored alarm, registered key-holders should be contacted by the service provider as soon as the device was set off.
Garda Lynch said that gardaí would wait to see the contents of the legislation, as there could be difficult issues to overcome such as going on to private property. ‘It is up to the legislators to construct the law to be fair to everybody involved,’ he concluded.
The Government admitted last week that implementation of the tough new powers could run into legal difficulties.
Under the new proposals Gardaí will be able to impose on-thespot fines for rowdy tenants and householders.
Householders and businesses with burglar alarms will also have to upgrade their devices to monitored alarms or systems that incorporate a 15-minute cutoff period within two years or face prosecution.
Minister Gormley said he hopes to have legislation ready by next March.
The problem of nuisance fire alarms is to be tackled.