Sharp rise in burglaries increases fears of crime crisisOctober 4, 2012 - 7:00am
A substantial rise in the number of reported burglaries – coupled with the closure threat that increasingly hangs over smaller Garda stations and continuing cuts to the number of patrol cars – has led to growing fears that rural communities in particular are becoming easy targets for criminals with Garda resources stretched to breaking point.
The figure for burglaries in across the county is up by 15.8 per cent in the first half of this year – and while overall crime is down by a quarter for the same period, an opposition spokesman claimed this week that people in rural communities across the West of Ireland are feeling increasingly vulnerable in their homes.
Fianna Fail’s justice spokesman Niall Collins has organised a meeting in Loughrea next week to gauge public opinion on the incidence of crime in rural areas and the impact of cuts to local garda resources. Ironically the public meeting takes place in a town that has seen burglaries almost triple in as many months.
“The latest Central Statistics Office crime figures published last week show that Galway, like all parts of the country, has seen a significant increase in the rate of burglaries and fraud over the past year.
“Nationally, there has been a 10.3% surge in burglaries in the year to the end of June, as well as a 43% increase in muggings and thefts from a person, and the 93% increase in robbery of cash or goods in transit,” Deputy Collins pointed out.
At a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting, gardaí reported that burglaries had almost tripled in Loughrea in the last three months compared to the same period last year.
Supt Enda Walshe, described as “a worrying trend” the growth of incidents between late June and early September 2012, from seven to 19, when compared to the same period in 2011.
And while thefts from shops have decreased on a national level, gardaí have recorded an increase in the Western Region in the last six months.
Commissioner Jack Nolan admitted that the rise in thefts in the region was a concern, noting that the Western Region gets a lot of visitors.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune