OFFENCES of theft have jumped dramatically in Balbriggan over the eightyear period from 2003 to 2011, a time when the population growth exploded in the North Fingal town and thousands of houses were built in new estates.Some 509 theft offences were recorded in 2011 out of a total of 1,486 offences during the busy 12 months at Balbriggan, according to the AIRO figures. In 2003, when the numbers living in the town were substantially lower, some 133 theft offences were recorded. Damage to property and burglary were also busy areas for the Balbriggan Gardai, with some 258 and 173 offences reported respectively. In 2003, there were just 82 offences of criminal damage, while during the same 12 months there were 60 burglary offences reported. There was a slight drop in the number of criminal damage offences on 2010 when 275 crimes of that nature were recorded. Public order offences accounted for 168 offences in 2011, up from 135 in 2003. However, the figure was down on the 2010 figure of 186, perhaps reflecting the recessionary times and the drop in numbers socialising. Drug-related crime offences totalled 113, up from just 10 in 2003, according to the figures. The category of assaults, harassment and attempts/threats to murder has also risen jumping from 40 offences in 2003 to 90 in 2011, according to the figures.