Concern over major spike in burglaries
By Sam Matthews
Gardaí in Kilkenny have expressed concern over the rise in the number of burglaries taking place in the city and surrounding district in recent weeks.
Seven break-ins in the area were reported to the Garda on Tuesday of this week alone. Organised gangs of thieves are breaking into homes in the search for cash and jewellery.
At last week’s public meeting of the Joint Policing Committee, Superintendent Mick Nevin revealed that the number of burglaries in Kilkenny soared by nearly 70 per cent in December last year. He said that the figures for January were also indicating increasing levels of break-ins.
“In December, there was a 69 per cent increase, which was very concerning,” he said.
“We urge people to be cautious. We still are challenged by burglaries that could probably be prevented by a little more awareness by a number of people.”
Supt Nevin said that community initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch schemes could have a significant role in preventing these burglaries. There are currently 26 Neighbourhood Watch schemes registered as operating in the city, however, not all of them are active.
“We urge people to engage with Neighbourhood Watch committees and nurture the notion of improved communication between ourselves and yourselves,” said the Superintendent.
The increase in the number of burglaries was not the only cause for concern arising from last week’s public meeting.
Figures presented to the JPC show that there were 311 reports of domestic violence to Kilkenny gardaí last year. While not all resulted in prosecutions, Supt Nevin said the number was worryingly high.
“Bear in mind it is a very significant decision to make – to call the Gardaí in that situation,” he said.
“The figure is over one a week in Kilkenny city alone. I am suggesting to people who find themselves in that situation, that there is a significant amount of services out there to support them.”
The Joint Policing Committee also heard that alcohol-related crime was on the rise in Kilkenny. In 2011, some 435 people were arrested for public drunkenness offences.
“This means people are being found in such a state in a public place that they are a danger to themselves and others that they have to be arrested,” said Supt Nevin.