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Dundalk crime figures rise as the economy reopens after Covid-19 pandemic

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Garda Superintendent, Dundalk Garda District, Charlie Armstrong.

Garda Superintendent, Dundalk Garda District, Charlie Armstrong.

Garda Superintendent, Dundalk Garda District, Charlie Armstrong.

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The rates of a raft of crimes including burglary, shoplifting and public order have all increased with the re-opening of society after the Covid pandemic, Dundalk Joint Policing Committee heard at their recent meeting.

Members were given an outline of crime figures for the last year, with a comparison to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Supt. Charlie Armstrong revealed there have been 107 burglary detections so far this year, up over 30% from the same month in 2021.

Thefts from shops jumped more than 40% from 252 in 2001 to 353 this year, but is still lower than the 388 reported in November 2019.

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Assaults causing harm rose from 89 last year to 100 in 2022, with minor assaults also up.

Public order offences increased by over 13%, from 236 in November 2021 to 273 this year, but were well below the 2019 figure of 314.

Supt. Armstrong told members that the figures were linked to the reopening of the night time economy.

There have been five fatal traffic collisions so far this year, 83 detections of driving while intoxicated and 45 detections of possession of offensive weapons.

Cllr. Maeve Yore highlighted the increasing number of road fatalities, which she said were “concerning.” She asked if checkpoints could be increased to police incidents of driving under the influence.

“Aggressive begging” in the town centre was also highlighted, which Supt Armstrong he had also been approached about by Town Centre manager, Martin McElligott. He added that there were ongoing efforts in relation to this. 

Incidents of criminals impersonating gardai in order to gain access and carry out a burglary at elderly people’s homes were “really worrying” said Cllr. Antoin Watters.

"Older people living in rural areas really are looking for support and guidance on this,” said Cllr. Watters.

Supt. Armstrong said that investigations are being carried out into incidents reported. He added that members of the community relations team do go out and talk to people who are concerned.

He added that safety awareness packs were delivered to a list of elderly people who were registered on a database during the Covid lockdowns, with the support of Louth County Council.

"We place a lot of emphasis on working with the elderly in the community.”

He told members that gardai hold regular checkpoints around the region, which are ongoing.


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