AS people return to the office following the lifting of restrictions, gardaí are asking members of the public to report any suspicious activity to their local gardaí to combat fears of burglaries in their area.
Chief Supt Con Cadogan of the Cork West Division made the plea at last week’s meeting of the Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC), where he said there had been an increase in burglaries in his division last year, compared to 2020.
Chief Supt Cadogan said burglary (non aggravated) was up 10 from 53 in 2020 to 63 in 2021 in the Cork West Division, the only one of the three Cork divisions to record such an increase. It was a similar story for thefts from other property, which was also up two from 116 to 118 in Cork West, which again was the only one of the three garda division to record such an increase.
He highlighted the fact that organised crime gangs would be responsible for a lot of burglaries in the southern region and noted that gardaí arrested one such gang in Bandon recently for an alleged burglary and have appeared in court since.
Cllr Michael Looney (FF) said he feared that there could be a rise in burglaries in rural areas as people return to the workplace following the lifting of restrictions. Chief Supt Cadogan said he is encouraging people to contact their local garda stations if they see suspicious activity in their area.
‘That assistance is invaluable and that’s what was relevant to the arrests last weekend and if you do see a strange vehicle in your area don’t be afraid to ring it in,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
While assaults causing harm were down in the Cork West Division from 58 to 52, it did however see an increase in minor assaults from 178 in 2020 to 195 in 2021. There was also a marked increase in criminal damage from 218 in 2020 to 236 last year, but both public order offences and drunkenness offences were down in Cork West.
Numbers for those driving while intoxicated were down from 201 to 195, while traffic collisions (serious injury) was up from 32 to 44, traffic collision (non serious injury) was also up from 66 to 84 and traffic collision (material damage only) was up from 795 in 2020 to 909 last year.
Meanwhile, there was decline in the numbers caught with drugs with 225 recorded for possession for personal use in 2021, compared to 229 the previous year, while possession of drugs for sale or supply was also down from 93 in 2020 to 71 for last year.