THEFTS, burglaries and assaults in Carlow are on the rise this year as the county’s top garda said this was partly due to society’s return to normality post pandemic.
Figures from the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2021 showed 59 burglaries of all dwelling types being reported in Carlow, up from 39.
Superintendent Aidan Brennan said burglaries in general had reduced significantly nationwide over the last five to ten years, but accepted the figure was still high.
Assaults were up from 36 to 51, while assaults causing harm were also up significantly.
Chief Superintendent Padraig Dunne commented: “Assaults are up because society is opening up.”
Thefts from shops had increased significantly to 171, up from 76.
“That’s a worry, it’s something we do engage with major shopping centers,” said Supt Brennan. “Some shops are targeted in particular.”
There were 48 thefts from vehicles, up from 30.
Supt Brennan warned people who were parking up cars at leisure areas before going for walks to be vigilant. He also said there had also been a “couple” of thefts of home heating oil this year and it was a trend he would not like to see grow.
“With the price of oil and diesel, we’d ask people to really take care and make sure their oil tanks are locked. It’s an offense that we could see a rise in. We’d hate to see that.”
There had been a small increase in robberies, but all incidents had resulted in arrests.
Drug detections were down, but Supt Brennan said there had been very significant seizures. “We have made some very good progress this year,” he said.
Fraud offenses were also down, which Supt Brennan saw as a positive, with people becoming wiser to scam emails and text messages.
Deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor was concerned about the rise in crime and the anxiety it was causing in the community. “I feel in the last year things have changed and gotten a lot worse. Is there any plan in place or anything we can do? There is a fear out there that I haven’t seen before; people are nervous. What can we do to counteract this? What concerns do you have that these crimes are up? Some of them are up quite substantially now.”
Supt Brennan shared the deputy’s concerns, but said the pre-pandemic figures were more relevant as a comparison.
“If you look at 2022 figures compared to 2019 figures, you see more of a balance. The change would not be as marked. Society has moved back to what it was … a lot busier, a lot more people about.”
Supt Brennan said every single garda he had was on duty every day and every night.
“You can see we are busy and working hard. That is something we can always give you a commitment to.”