15% rise in burglaries in second quarter of year

Fitzmaurice wants more Gardai

There was a 15 per cent increase in burglaries in counties Roscommon and Longford in the second quarter of this year.

  The Central Statistics Office’s data show that the number of burglaries in the Roscommon Longford Garda Division rose from 107 in the first quarter of this year to 122 between April 1 and June 30.

  In the year up to June 30 last, 440 burglaries were recorded in the division, but this was actually a slight decrease on the previous 12-month period, when 448 such incidents were recorded in the two counties.

  Meanwhile, 22 burglaries were recorded to Roscommon Garda Station in the first six months of this year, compared to 14 in Boyle, 12 in Ballaghaderreen, ten in Castlerea and four in Strokestown.

  In other offences, 33 sexual offences were reported in the division in the first six months of this year – 12 in the first quarter and 21 in the second quarter.

   Forty-nine rapes/sexual assaults were reported in the division in the 12-month period until June 30 last, including 18 in the second quarter of 2015.

  Meanwhile Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called on the Government to ensure that more gardaí are recruited to operate the new vehicles that have been promised to tackle the rural crime epidemic.

  While welcoming the news that €5 million would be provided for 260 new Garda vehicles, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “I hope that there are extra gardaí to operate these vehicles, especially in rural areas.

  “I am aware that the Government have sanctioned 600 new gardaí, but it will be two years before those gardaí are trained and at least two years more before they would be able to drive these high-powered vehicles.”

  Deputy Fitzmaurice called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to redeploy gardaí to rural areas to “provide re-assurance to communities who feel abandoned in recent years.”

  He said: “We need to see a real change in policing policy with regard to rural crime. Having the vehicles is essential but we need the gardaí to operate them as well.”