Chief Supt David Sheahan briefing members of the Limerick JPC during a visit to the new custody suite at Henry Street Picture: Michael Cowhey
WHILE overall crime levels are down across Limerick so far this year, a number of areas of concern have emerged for gardai.
Briefing members of the Joint Policing Committee, Chief Superintendent David Sheahan confirmed there have been almost 7,300 reported incidents so far in 2017 - the vast majority of which have occurred in the Metropolitan area.
One area where a 5% year-on-year increase has been identified relates to property crimes including thefts and burglaries.
Of particular concern is a spike in the number of reported thefts from shops in the Henry Street district which includes the city centre which are being committed by first-time offenders..
The number of thefts from vehicles has also risen slightly in three of the four garda districts while there has been an 85% in the number of cars which were reported stolen in the Bruff district.
As of last week, there were 731 reported burglaries across the Limerick division which is slightly higher than last year.
While burglaries are down in the Henry Street (-6%) Roxboro Road (-3%) and Bruff (-7%) districts, there has been a 21% increase in reported burglaries in the Newcastle West district.
“It something we are looking into,” said Chief Supt Sheahan.
Crimes against the person, including assaults and threats, have increased by 16% across the division with 89 reported incidents of assault causing harm in the Henrry Street district alone.
While incidents of criminal damage and breaches of the Public Order Act are down across the division there has been a 52% increase in the Buff district where there were 111 reported incidents compared to 73 during the same period in 2016.
A breakdown of the figures shows the number of criminal damage incidents in the Bruff district has increased by more than 40% year-on-year to 72 while there have been small increases in the number of Public Order offences inluding drunkenness.
Members of the JPC were told the number of drugs offences has fallen by 5% depte 34% increase in the Roxboro Road district. There have 179 incidents involving possesion of drugs for sale or supply since the beginning of the year.
According to the figures, there have been 10 offences relating to possession of firearms which is a slight increase on 2016.