‘Minimal’ increase in county’s crime rates

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Credit card fraud, grow houses and break ins to unoccupied vehicles - just a number of the matters that were addressed at last week’s JPC meeting.

And while there has been an increase in criminal activity in the Granard area this year, gardaí say that it is “minimal” and because rates were so low last year, that increase was anticipated this year.

The meeting heard from acting Superintendent Fran Nicholson that burglaries were down 10% in Longford town, but up 20% in Granard. “Thefts are up across the county - up by 20%, and there has been an increase in thefts from shops of about 20% as well,” he added. “Shop thefts are up 5% in the Granard area and thefts from vehicles is up 8% in the Longford District. Unfortunately, crime rates are up, but not hugely - and it is important to remember that.”

Superintendent Nicholson went on to warn motorists about leaving valuables in unoccupied vehicles and he insisted that more “vigilance” was necessary in this area. “More vigilance needs to be exercised,” he added. “Leaving valuable items exposed in a car will provide opportunists with the change they need. Lock valuables away or remove them from the car altogether.”

The meeting then heard that credit card scams were rife at the moment, and that while figures for possession of drugs were down, the latest statistics revealed ‘sale and supply’ was on the increase. “This means that people supplying drugs are being caught, however while grow houses seems to have dissipated, isolated houses in rural areas are being used and there needs to be more vigilance in relation to this,” added the superintendent. “We need people in the community to contact us if they become suspicious of this type of behaviour,” he added.

It also emerged during the meeting that public order offences are down in the Longford district, and the local CCTV system was becoming a valuable tool in the battle to secure law and order in the county. “Gardaí would also like to advise pedestrians,” continued Superintendent Nicholson. “They are the biggest targets, because many are wearing dark clothing or walking on the wrong side of the road. Wear visor jackets and protective clothing.”




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