“A tip for people is that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”
That was the advice issued by Inspector Fran Nicholson during last week’s meeting of Longford Town Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
Although ‘headline crime’ showed a significant reduction in the first two months of 2014, Insp Nicholson warned the public to be wary of fraudsters and to take precautions to guard against ATM skimming.
”Credit card fraud and internet fraud are a national problem,” outlined Insp Nicholson.
He explained that an incident involving ATM skimmers in a town near Longford had received national attention.
He pointed out that the public had been appraised of the issue through the media and added that a crime prevention officer would be making a presentation to the media on the prevalence of fraud related crimes.
Compared to the first two months of 2013, statistics for January and February of this year, revealed that burglaries in Longford were down 30%, theft down 25% and assault and serious assault down 30%.
Acknowledging that overall the figures were positive, Insp Nicholson admitted it will be difficult to maintain this trend. “If there is any rush of crimes it can have a significant effect on the figures.”
Unfortunately, drugs possession offences in Longford are continuing to rise, with the latest figures highlighting an increase of 20% in drug detections.
Insp Nicholson said a crackdown on cultivation had resulted in two major grow-house operations being uncovered by the region’s divisional drug unit. The JPC was informed that the Roscommon based Chief Superintendent had acknowledged that addressing drug crime in Longford was a priority and it will be targeted because it is the centre of population with the greatest need.
Insp Nicholson assured members that the Drugs Unit will be highly active and that Gardaí were not going ‘to put head their heads in the sand’ and they “will be at the forefront of tackling the drugs issue.”
Public order offences were down and Insp Nicholson suggested this was probably as a result of CCTV monitoring.