OVER €1m worth of drugs was seized in the Cork West Division in just the last four months of 2017, a meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told.
Successful drug seizures by gardaí in operations in towns like Kinsale, Bantry and Macroom between September and December all contributed to this high figure, with the majority of the drugs seized being cannabis and cocaine.
Chief Supt Con Cadogan of Cork West Garda Division said that detections for sale or supply of drugs were up 32% in 2017 in his division, while detections for possession of drugs were up 23%. ‘A lot of these detections were down to intelligence but also communities working together and people reporting suspicious activities,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
Meanwhile, crime stats revealed at the meeting showed that burglaries across all three garda divisions are up 40% for the last three months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
Figures released showed that there were 324 burglaries reported in the last three months of 2017, which was up from 225 in the same period in 2016.
Chief Supt Ger Dillane of the Cork North Division described the figures as ‘shocking.’
‘Burglaries in the Cork West Division are down 21% but the figures are up in both the Cork North and Cork City Divisions,’ said Chief Supt Dillane, who said his own home was burgled and ransacked.
Chief Supt Dillane also highlighted the fact that thefts from vehicles were up 40% and that gardaí have detected that gangs are hitting housing estates at night time and stealing items from unlocked cars.
He said they were ‘like flies going across a housing estate’.
‘They don’t break into the cars and they are looking for cash, power tools and other items which are left in unlocked cars and I would plead with the public to lock their cars and vans,’ he said. Chief Supt Dillane said that gangs from Leinster with high powered vehicles using false registration plates were hitting houses across Cork county and city and said unless gardaí can catch them in the act, there is little they can do as these criminals are ‘very forensically aware.’
Chief Supt Cadogan said that in the Cork West Division a text alert scheme has been operating successfully in reporting suspicious vehicles.
‘This scheme involves both the community and the gardaí working together and the more we can get involved, the better.
‘I would appeal to communities that if you are not on the text alert to join it,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
‘Also don’t be afraid to ring in if you see something suspicious in your area. If you have a gut feeling, then ring us and we will check it out.’
Gardaí also called for people to be more vigilant and to take down the serial numbers and model numbers of their tools and equipment.
Chief Supt Cadogan highlighted a recent incident at Bantry Market where stolen power tools were recovered from a stall there.
‘We re-united the three owners with their property which was stolen in Dublin that Monday night, because each of them had recorded the serial numbers of their equipment,’ added Chief Supt Cadogan.