THE new policing plan in West Limerick, which came into operation this Monday, got off to a shaky start as far as the community in Glin was concerned, with break-ins at local businesses and a theft from the local church.
These latest incidents, however, are a follow-on to a series of other crimes over the past three months which included the ransacking of a home while the occupants had gone to the village to collect their pension.
Now, householders in the Shannonside village, which is exemplary in its community undertakings, are on high alert and concern is growing about how to stop this spate of crime in its tracks.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, two pubs and the local chipper were broken into and cigarette machines and, in one case, playing machines interfered with.
Also, last Saturday, during the day, about €50 was taken from the candle-machine in the local church.
The previous week, a brother and sister were dismayed and horrified to find their home had been ransacked during the 50-minutes or so they were out of their house collecting their pension in the village.
And just about a fortnight ago, a number of cars were broken into while their owners took their daily walk.
The most serious incidents however occurred in February when one car was set on fire near a house while a second car at the same location was fire-damaged.
In addition, a stolen car was found in a ditch outside the village, also set on fire. Two men were arrested in connection with those incidents but nobody so far has come before the courts.
In response to the February mayhem, Glin Development Association called a public meeting which was attended by up to 150 people. And Chief Supt David Sheahan and Inspt Paul Reidy attended a second public meeting by request.
Since then, the local Community Alert committee has been re-vitalised and a new Text Alert system has been put in place.
But this week’s events have dented confidence somewhat. Gardai are investigating the incident and the focus this Wednesday was on examining CCTV footage in which a silver car was spotted.
“It is very frustrating,” John Anthony Culhane chairman of Glin Development Association said. “We have had two public meetings and the Chief Superintendent is aware of what is going on, and even more aware now.”
Hopefully, he added, the culprits will be caught.