Longford Gardaí's crackdown on known criminals pays dividends

Jim Delaney

Supt Jim Delaney

Crime levels at both ends of the county are continuing to fall due to a combination of targeted operations and ever improving detection rates.

Burglaries, shoplifting, public order and assaults are all down over the past three months across the Longford and Granard Garda Districts with the issue of dangerous driving being the only headline issue in the northern end of the county to show an increase.

The figures were greeted with universal praise by elected members of Longford County Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday.

Superintendent Jim Delaney said the increased successes of gardaí in tackling crime was a result of dedicated initiatives targeting well known criminals under the watch of the recently devised Longford Resource Unit.

“We have had spikes in burglaries but what we did was we put a plan in place with the local detective branch and Longford Resource Unit which has resulted in a number of more prolific people involved in this type of activity going into custody,” he said.

The Longford superintendent was at pains to stress those gains were made in the midst of diminishing means and ever tightening budgetary constraints.

Supt Delaney made no reference to revelations over the weekend which showed Longford was one of only three counties nationwide not to receive any new garda recruits this year.

What he did allude to though was the incessant pressure faced by Garda management at a local level in ensuring the day to day demands of running a busy district remain in the black.

“We (gardaí) are trying to continue and sustain a policing service with dwindling resources,” he maintained.

His comments were ones chiefly aimed in the direction of Cllr Peggy Nolan.

The Fine Gael representative had earlier hit out at the delay the committee was encountering in attempting to bring an updated CCTV system to the county.

Cllr Nolan, who said she was now at her “wits’ end” in trying to further the issue, complimented Supt Delaney on his frankness, stressing the time had come for members of the JPC to meet with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan face to face.

A letter is expected to be sent to Minister Flanagan's office in relation to the issue over the coming days.

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