Westmeath’s crime rate is decreasing steadily, according to new crime statistics released by the Central Statistics Office.
The CSO’s report on recorded crime for the last quarter of 2012 found that the number of homicides, sexual offences, burglaries, weapons offences, and public order offences were all down in 2012 on the previous year.
There was just one homicide in Westmeath in 2012, compared to three in both 2011 and 2012; while the number of sexual offences fell from 40 to 29 over the year.
The incidence of robberies fell from 30 to 22, while burglaries also decreased from 571 to 551. Weapons and explosives offences also showed a drop from 46 to 40 - a significant drop from their peak of 74 in 2008.
Public order offences were also down from 954 in 2011 to 903 in 2012; they also peaked at 1,218 in 2008.
However it was not all good news; in 2012 there was a significant rise in the number of fraud and deception offences, rising from 82 cases in 2011 to 134 in 2012; and in offences against Government from 163 to 194.
There was also a slight increase in the number of drug offences from 255 to 266; however this figure is still significantly lower than in 2008 when there were 336 drug offences recorded.
Local TD Robert Troy praised Westmeath’s Gardaí for their efforts in controlling and intercepting crime in the county.
He said, “This is a notable achievement and a tribute to the Gardaí’s determination and commitment to their vocation, especially considering the circumstances they currently find themselves in.
“It is obvious that the Government are hoping the Gardaí’s line of work and their admirable ‘sense of duty’ will stop them from withdrawing their current level of service. This is exploitation.
“I believe we are very fortunate to have such a high calibre of Gardaí in Westmeath and it is time that Minister Shatter realised this and credited their profession with more respect.”