Friday 14 December 2018

Burglaries across Cork up 40 per cent since start of year

Gardaí urge public to report any instances of suspicious activity

Bill Browne

While the number of burglaries reported across Cork have increased over the first four month of this year, Gardaí have been increasingly successful in intercepting criminals using the Dublin motorway as their getaway route.

Addressing Cork County Council's joint policing committee (JPC) Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said there had been 310 burglaries across the city and county over the first four months of the year - an increase of 40 per cent on the figure for the same period in 2017.

Chief Supt Cadogan said that in some instances people were facilitating criminals by not locking their cars at night, a point also made at a previous  JPC meeting by Chief Supt Ger Dillane who estimated that as many as one third of cars are left unlocked at night. 

As an example, Chief Supt Cadogan cited one particular instance where CCTV footage captured in an estate at night-time showed criminals moving from one unlocked car to another stealing valuables. 

At the previous JPC Chief Supt Dillane said many burglaries were carried out by gangs, who in many cases were careful not to leave forensic evidence behind them. He said they can often come from other counties and change the number plates of cars, making them difficult to detect.  

"It is vital that the public should report any suspicious activity (to Gardaí), no matter how trivial they think it may be. 

"We also run a number of text alert systems for communities whereby warnings are issued about the movements of suspicious vehicles," said Chief Supt Dillane. 

"We would appeal to communities not to be afraid to ring. As we have seen in the past, this is very effective when everyone is working together." 

Meanwhile, Chief Supt Cadogan said the number of road traffic collisions had increased when compared to last year, with seven people losing their lives on Cork's roads over the past four months. 

The number of serious injuries resulting from traffic incidents was up from 17 to 21; what were classed as non-serious injures rose from 145 to 191 and collisions causing material damage had increased by 79 to 1,783. 

Chief Supt Cadogan said this could be a direct result of an increase in general and construction traffic on Cork's roads, resulting from the pick-up in the economy. 

There was positive news in relation to assaults causing harm and minor assaults, which saw significant reductions from 431 to 144 and 389 to 105 respectively. 

There was also a slight drop in the number of public order offences, with Chief Supt Cadogan saying these reductions have been achieved by targeting known 'trouble hotspots'. 

However, incidents of public drunkenness had increased, something that was also attributed to the upturn in the economy.