By Ryan Dunne firstname.lastname@example.org @laois news
Shoplifting in Laois has gone up by almost 25 percent in the last 12 months, but burglaries are down over 30 percent.
At the recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee, Chief Superintendent John Scalon revealed that property crime has gone down by 27 percent overall, from 433 in the first quarter of 2016 to 316 in the first quarter of this year.
Shoplifting has gone up by almost 25 percent, from 73 in the first quarter of 2016, to 91 in the first quarter of this year.
Burglaries are down by 31.4 percent, from 118 in the first quarter of 2016 to 81 this quarter. Theft is down almost 38 percent, from 124 to 77; theft from an MPV is down over 56 percent, from 80 to 35; and theft from the person is down 83 percent, from six to one.
The unauthorised taking of an MPV has also dropped, from 19 to 16, a decrease of almost 16 percent.
Regarding the burglaries, Chief Supt Scanlon said there had been a number of arrests this year, but there had been a big drop in urban areas.
He said the life cycle of these offences is dependant on a certain group of people being in custody, or not in custody.
“They don’t seem to learn their lessons, this certain group, and they return to their ways when they return to the communities,” he said.
He said that that all cases of robbery from the person have been solved.
Chief Supt Scanlon also said that the category of theft was a catch all term, which included stealing from farmers’ yard and not going into houses.
Discussing the figures, Cllr James Kelly said that the fear of crime can be worse than the crime itself. He said that 40% of crime is not reported, and asked whether this was due to fear of intimidation or a slow response from gardaí.
Chief Supt Scanlon replied: “If a house is broken into, we’re going to hear about it. If it’s a rural area, the entire place knows about it.
“A serious crime in a rural environment has traction across the entire area. Most people insure their houses, so most people will report a crime,” he said.