Tuesday 24 October 2017

Targeting known criminals helps fall in crime rates

Chief superintendant John Roche
Chief superintendant John Roche

David Tucker

DESPITE fewer gardai on the ground, there was a dramatic fall in the headline crime rate in County Wexford during the first quarter of the year.

Chief Superintendent John Roche said anti-crime operations, particularly concentrating on Enniscorthy and Gorey and targeting known criminals, had been a major factor in reducing the crime rate. He said random checkpoints, espcially in high volume crime areas, had also played a major part.

Supt. Roche conceded that there was a perception in some areas of the county that serious crime was on the increase.

However, he said, the figures showed the opposite was true.

Garda numbers in the Wexford Garda Division, which includes Wexford town and district, Enniscorthy and Gorey, and New Ross, currently stood at a historic low of 254.

'When I started this job in the division there were 302 guards,' Supt. Roche pointed out.

'We definitely doing more for less and the benefits of our targeted operations are showing through,' he said.

Supt. Roche said he would be pressing the commissioner for more officers to be assigned to the division when the crop of recruits entering the Garda College, at Templemore, over the summer graduate in the spring of 2015.

'We will have more boots on the street next March. It's a matter for the commissioner as to where they are allocated, but I will be making a case,' said the superintendent.

The headline figures show a marked fall in crime divisionally.

Burglaries are down 30 per cent, with 299 crimes reported a fall of 99.

Enniscorthy District, which includes Gorey, is down 17 per cent; New Ross is down 42 per cent and Wexford town and district is down 43 per cent.

Theft cases - items such as heating oil and farm machinery - are down 24 per cent, to 168, a fall of 53 cases throughout the division

Enniscorthy and Gorey are down six per cent, with Wexford town and district down 32 per cent and New Ross down 43 per cent.

Public order offences are down for the third year running, falling by 29 per cent to 151 cases, a fall of 65.

Enniscorthy and Gorey are down 24 per cent, New Ross is down 24 per cent and Wexford is down 36 per cent. There were only two robberies involving violence in the division during the first quarter, on a par with last year. One involved the theft of a phone with violence and the other an incident at a petrol station in Gorey. Assaults throughout the division are down six per cent to 58, a fall of eight cases.

Breaking the trend, Enniscorthy and Gorey are up by eight per cent; there is no change in Wexford town and district and a 46 per cent decline in New Ross.

Supt. Roche said there were 211 cases of criminal damage in the division, the number on a par with last year.

Enniscorthy and Gorey were up 12 per cent, New Ross was down 27 per cent and Wexford was the same as last year.

Supt. Roche attributed some of the garda success to the advent of text alerts and a community that was much more security conscious.

'Our anti-crime measures have been paying off and I would urge people not to let their guard down.'

New Ross Standard