Thursday 22 February 2018

Residents meet over crime spike

John Manning

Over 100 concerned local residents in the River Valley and Rathingle area of Swords showed up for a crime prevention meeting following a spike in burglaries on local estates in recent weeks.

The local Neighbourhood Watch invited gardaí to address local residents concerns and give advice on crime prevention at the packed meeting in Swords.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler, attended the meeting and told the Fingal Independent: 'There were over 100 local residents at a Crime Prevention meeting organised by River Valley Rathingle Neighbourhood Watch, organised for residents who were concerned about the extraordinary high number of break-ins that were occurring in the area.

'Garda Sergeant Vincent Connolly from the Blanchardstown Community Policing Unit gave a detailed crime prevention presentation that was welcomed by all.

'Local Community Garda Rebecca McGowan spoke about a recent crime spike on the western side of Swords and that additional check points had been set up in the area. She also informed residents about a recent arrest.'

The Mayor of Fingal added: 'From local Facebook groups, I could see evidence of this spike in crime in the Rivervalley and Brookdale area over the last month or so and I was very thankful that the Garda set up these additional checkpoints all over Swords over the last few weeks, giving out crime prevention sheets to Swords residents.

'Despite the arrests being made, break-ins are still happening. I believe the local Garda and doing everything they can, they just need more resources, We need more gardaí allocated to Swords and to north County Dublin, in general.'

In late January, following a particularly bad week for burglaries in the area, the Mayor of Fingal called for increased patrols in the River Valley area.

The call followed reports in the Fingal Independent that three burglaries had happened on the same afternoon in the Brookdale area of River Valley and the following week, there had been a further two successful break-ins with residents alleging that there were several more attempted burglaries in the area.

In response to the residents' concerns at that time, the Mayor said: 'I rang Swords Garda station earlier today and they wish they had more resources. They told me to get anything suspicious reported to them immediately.'

Addressing residents in the area, Cllr Butler said: 'Please can everyone remain vigilant and immediately report anything suspicious to Swords Garda Station (01) 666 4700.

'I have also emailed Coolock (the district HQ) and requested that more resources be allocated to Swords and River Valley. I've asked if they could move checkpoints into the area.'

Local gardaí have since mounted checkpoints in the area and handed out crime prevention leaflets. Their attendance at this latest crime prevention meeting in River Valley is the next step in making the area more secure and better prepared to thwart the would-be burglars, targeting homes on local estates.

Fingal Independent

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