Chief Supt Gerard Roche
MEMBERS of the Limerick Roads Policing Unit are to be deployed in rural communities over the coming months in an effort to reduce the number of burglaries.
According to gardai, the number of break-ins across the Limerick division has increased by 19% so far this year.
Figures released to members of Limerick Joint Policing Committee (JPC) show there were 624 reported burglaries between January and August compared to 526 during the same period last year.
Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche says the year-on-year increase can be attributed to a major spike during April and May.
“Earlier in the year – particularly in the second quarter – we had an abnormal amount of activity particularly in the county areas which resulted in the higher figures which we have had right through since, but the amount of burglaries over the past few months has certainly decreased,” he said.
Members of the JPC were told the recent reduction is being attributed to increased patrolling and the “arrest and detention and incarceration” of a number of prolific offenders.
Chief Supt Roche says an anti-burglary strategy has been drawn up for the remainder of the year.
The operation which will be rolled out shortly will see members of the Roads Policing Unit carry out additional patrols in conjunction with regular units and detective units at locations across the county.
“The nature of criminals is financial activity as well as everything else and opportunities can be better in the county to some extent – especially as a lot of the houses are isolated and our anti-burglary strategy is to try and intercept them at every opportunity,” said Chief Supt Roche who is appealing to people to notify gardai of any suspicious activity in their local community,
According to the figures released at the meeting, the number of assault offences has increased by 9% across the division this year while the number of criminal damage and public order offences has increased by 5%.
Chief Supt Roche pointed out that a number of targeted operations in the Henry Street district resulted in a significant reduction in certain categories of crime in the city centre.
Members of the JPC were also given details of the hundreds of ‘domestic’ calls which gardai have dealt with so far in 2018.
While breaches of various orders were a feature, the majority of calls did not result in any further actions being taken as no criminal offence was disclosed.
Chief Supt Roche says the reasons for investigations not being progressed are now being routinely recorded for analysis purposes.