Editorial: Invasion of home and privacy

Sheila Reilly

Reporter:

Sheila Reilly

Burglaries are so commonplace now that we barely pay attention to reports of the latest break-in. This week, three houses on the same development in Longford town were raided one after the other, as thieves broke in through the back door of the homes and made off with valuable electronic equipment. Literally thousands of euro of equipment was stolen in a matter of minutes.

Burglaries are so commonplace now that we barely pay attention to reports of the latest break-in. This week, three houses on the same development in Longford town were raided one after the other, as thieves broke in through the back door of the homes and made off with valuable electronic equipment. Literally thousands of euro of equipment was stolen in a matter of minutes.

While the financial cost of these break-ins is a serious matter for residents, victims of robberies are more likely to talk about the psychological effect. These robberies have a major impact on the way people feel about their homes as well as their personal security. Victims often feel speak of their sense of helplessness at the invasion of their home and their privacy.

Every house break-in is not just a statistic, it is a person whose home has been violated and who has been left, at least annoyed and frustrated, but more often frightened and angry, by the robbery.

Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show that between 2007 and 2011, Gardai solved less than one in four burglaries in this country. In contrast, around half of robberies, extortion and fraud were detected and the Gardai solved more than four out of every five murders. These figures would bear out anecdotal evidence that burglars are just not being caught and as a result, they have developed a sense of immunity.

However there is light at the end of the tunnel. A special Garda operation known as Operation Fiacla was set up in February 2012. Since then, over 4,000 people have been arrested as part of the clampdown on burglaries. Just over 2,300 people were charged as part of the operation. This is a welcome development. But victims of break-ins will only feel a sense of justice when these people go through the court system and are punished for their crimes.

Ready to Ras

Longford Local Authorities, Chamber of Commerce and GAA should all be commended for their involvement in this weekend’s An Post Ras, which is coming to Longford. The first stage of the international cycling competition will start in Dunboyne and finish in Longford on Sunday. After an overnight stop in Longford, cyclists will hit the road for the second stage of the Ras from Longford to Nenagh. Local people are urged to get out and support this amazing event, which includes cyclists from all over the world,as it passes through our local towns and villages.