Theft from vehicles still common in tourist hotspots
The RDA Hall was packed to capacity on Wednesday night as Rathdrum hosted a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting for the first time.
The public meeting was organised by Wicklow County Council and chaired by Cllr Jim Ruttle. Cllr Pat Kennedy was instrumental in arranging for the event to take place in Rathdrum.
Attendees heard about the specialist services provided by the gardaí in the Rathdrum and Wicklow District and the partnership between the gardaí, the community and Wicklow County Council in tackling crime.
Cllr Ruttle, acknowledged the large turnout, saying: 'The value of public meetings and the JPC reaching out to engage with communities cannot be undervalued and I thank the people of Rathdrum for their interest in contributing to the process'.
Superintendent Paul Hogan gave a presentation to the meeting on the level and pattern of crime in the area and the work of the gardai as regards crime prevention. The Wicklow district consists of seven garda stations, in Wicklow town and Arklow, both of which are manned 24-hours, and in Ashford, Aughrim, Avoca, Rathdrum and Roundwood.
Superintendent Hogan acknowledged that theft from vehicles was still proving to be all too common a crime, especially in upland areas.
'Tourists come and park their cars to go for a walk and a lot of the time their cars are broken into. It often may be a very secluded, rural area where they think their vehicles would be safe to park. A lot of cases of criminal damage we deal with would be where a car window has been smashed but they didn't get anything. It's just damage caused'.
He also revealed crime statistics for the district up until September of 2017 and 2018, as well as stats for Rathdrum.
There were 13 assaults causing harm in 2017 and 19 in 2018. Two rape cases occurred in 2017 and five in 2018. There were 13 sexual assaults in 2017 and nine this year. There were two robberies last year and three this year, with two robberies from persons in 2017 and one in 2018. There were 13 unauthorised theft of vehicles in 2017 and 22 this year, while three incidents of interfering with a vehicle were investigated last year, compared to one incident this year. There were 15 cases of arson in 2017 and 13 in 2018. Twelve cases of drugs possession for supply occurred in 2017 and 16 this year. The number of possession of drugs for personal use cases was 140 in 2017 and 128 this year. There were eight incidents of handling stolen property in 2017 and three this year.
Other crime statistics compared Rathdrum figures to the rest of the district. There were 128 burglaries in 2017 and 119 in 2018 district-wide, while eleven burglaries occurred in Rathdrum in 2017 and 16 in 2018. There were 204 theft from vehicles last year and 103 this year, while in Rathdrum there were 41 incidents in 2017 and 23 in 2018. There were 123 theft from shops reported in the district in 2017 and 85 in 2018, while 15 took place in Rathdrum last year and four this year. There were 112 other thefts in 2017 and 12i this year, while in Rathdrum there were twelve last year and then this year. There were 112 assaults in 2017 and 94 in 2018, while eight minor assaults took place in Rathdrum last year and nine this year. There were 174 criminal damage incidents in 2017 and 119 in 2018, while in Rathdrum there were 38 last year and eight this year. There were 97 cases on public order offences in 2017 and 74 in 2018, while in Rathdrum the figure stood at 16 last year and only five this year.