Thursday 18 July 2019

Mixed results for crime in Swords area during 2018

Final 2018 report from Fingal Joint Policing Committee

Malahide Garda Station
Malahide Garda Station

Crime statistics for 2018, recently released by the Fingal Joint Policing Committee for the Swords electoral area, show a mixed picture for the policing district of Swords when the figures are compared to the same period in 2017.

Based on crime figures from January 1 2018 to 31 Oct 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, on a wide range of categories, including assault causing harm; aggravated burglary; criminal damage; robbery from person; public order incidents; and domestic violence.

Despite largely positive results with crime falling in a lot of these categories, the 'Robberries from the Person' showed an alarming increase of 90% (10 incidents in 2017 against 19 incidents in 2018).

This was put down, by local gardaí to 'significant increase associated with incidents around Halloween period'.

Public order incidents were down 22% for the period in the Swords policing district, with 231 incidents for 2017, and 180 for last year.

According to the report presented to the Fingal Joint Policing Committee, this decreased figure may reflect a 'concentration' of Gardai on the beat at closing time of a large number of late night establishments.

'Assaults Causing Harm' also showed a significant decrease, from 23 incidents in 2017 to 28 incidents during the same period in 2018, resulting in a 15% decrease.

'Minor' assaults, however, showed a significant increase of 20%, with a total of 102 incidents in 2017 and 122 in 2018. These assaults were said to be associated with 'night time economy', domestic incidents and anti-social behaviour.Under the heading 'Garda Patrol Activity', 'Possession of Offensive Weapon' showed a decrease of 6%, 'Searches under Drugs Act' a decrease of 33% and 'Vehicle Seizures' a decrease of 37%

Domestic violence incidents (including breach of orders) showed a total of 177 incidents, a decrease of 22% based on figures for 2017.

According to gardaí from the Swords distict who presented the report to members of the Fingal Joint Policing Committee, measures taken for crime prevention in the area during the last year included: high visibility patrols as part of 'Operation Open City' in Swords for the Christmas period, and rural patrols introduced in the Swords area 'in conjunction with colleagues in Balbriggan District.'

Those rural patrols would appear to have come on the back of increased concerns in Fingal's rural communities about a spike in violent rural crime, particularly targetting farmers.

A packed public meeting on the issue was held in Swords after fears were sparked following the attack on a local farmer, Patrick Walsh by a gang of men who had apparently been hunting hares in the area.

Fingal Independent