Proactive policing: Checkpoints, patrols and curfew checks turn heat on crime gangs, meeting hears
An increasing level of garda resources and visibility is leading to significant fall-offs in crime levels across both Longford and Granard garda districts.
It was a message which was delivered in no uncertain terms on Monday by garda chiefs as Longford County Council’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) held its final meeting of 2019.
Shoplifting (down 84 per cent), theft from vehicles (down 75 per cent) and burglaries (down 36 per cent) saw the biggest drops in the Granard Garda District this year, Superintendent Seamus Boyle told elected members.
The one overriding negative aspect to draw from the past 12 months, he added, came courtesy of a 60 per cent hike in criminal damage cases.
“A lot of that was down to the ongoing feuding between families that originated from the Granard District and have taken the feud into the Longford District.”
Supt Boyle said a series of significant arrests and in excess of over 1,000 proactive patrols had helped lessen the District’s level of headline related crime.
They were attitudes his Longford based counterpart Supt Jim Delaney was equally keen to attest to.
He said despite the “residual effects” of feud related incidents, the likes of various strategically employed initiatives typified by the county’s well documented Operation Stola had proved crucial in counteracting those challenges.
Supt Delaney noted how over 5,500 proactive, high visibility policing engagements headed by a much publicised operation last month involving Criminal Assets Bureau officers was very much symptomatic of the Gardaí’s commitment towards delivering a first class policing service.
“There have also been 41 arrests and that has certainly increased (public) confidence as well as the level of reporting and recording (of crimes),” he said, while turning specifically to last month’s operational breakthrough.
“That didn’t just come about,” he insisted.
“It was long planned and had been called for on numerous occasions not least by the chair (of JPC Cllr Seamus Butler) and it won’t stop there.”