A Joint Policing Committee (JPC) in Granard last Tuesday night heard that burglaries are up 50% in the greater Granard area this year.
The revelations came on the back of the latest statistics for the town and its environs which also show a decrease in other criminal activity and in Public Order offences.
Superintendent Tom Murphy told the meeting that there had been approximately 18 burglaries so far this year, compared to eight in the same period in 2013. He also pointed out that there had been a number of “operations” conducted into grow houses and drugs detection was subsequently up 20% as a direct result.
“Burglaries are an ongoing battle in Granard and the greater Granard area,” said the Superintendent, adding, “we have also had a lot of success in the detection of grow houses in this area and that is very positive”.
“Public order offences are down 53% and assaults are down 70% and that is thanks to the cooperation that the gardaí have received from the community in relation to this. The JPC was established five years ago and the assistance from the communities has helped us to achieve our goals. The Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) has also been a huge help to the gardaí and that is something that was developed right here in Granard.”
Sergeant Lionel Mullally of Granard Garda Station spearheaded the Text Alert initiative back in 2010 and before long it was adopted nationally. He was also involved in the development of the ASBO, the first of which was ordered in Co Longford. Superintendent Murphy also pointed to the 35% decrease in crime over the past year and highlighted the Text Alert initiative as a fundamental factor in the reduction.
“The Text Alert system was probably one of the most successful initiatives and Sergeant Mullally was involved in its development; it has helped us greatly and is something that has been rolled out across the country. The gangs that are targeting houses and business premises in this area are opportunists; they knock on doors pretending they are lost, or look around a property for an open window,” added the Superintendent. “Property owners must exercise vigilance at all times. If windows are left open, they will seize the opportunity to get into the house. They are committed criminals traveling the country with high speed cars and gardaí have been injured while in pursuit of these criminals because of the number of high speed chases that have ensued.”
The meeting also heard that a new JPC structure would be developed once the local elections were over, and the Superintendent said it was his understanding that each county would have one JPC thereafter. “I want to thank the gardaí in Granard for all their help and support over these past five years,” added Granard Town Mayor, Cllr Maura Kilbride Harkin (FG). “Best of luck to you all.”