NEW figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show that there has been nearly an 85% drop in crime around Thurles, though the Premier County is the third worst in Munster for the number of burglaries committed.
The figures show a dramatic decrease in reported crime in the Tipperary Garda Division since 2007, according to the CSO. Since the recession began, there has been an average fall of 43% in reported crime across the county. The steepest fall in reported crimes was in the Thurles district, which saw a decrease of 84.9% over that period.
Meanwhile, Tipperary has three Garda Stations out of the top 20 station s nationwide, with some of the lowest records of offences for the year 2011. There were no crimes reported at all in Ballinderry, North Tipperary, last year, while there were only three crimes reported in Terryglass near Lough Derg. There were also only three offences recorded at Ballinure, near Cashel.
Both Ballinderry and Ballinure have been closed since March by Justice Minister Alan Shatter as part of a plan to shut 39 stations in a cost saving measure. Another ‘quiet’ station is Shevry, in South Tipperary, with some eight reported offences in 2011. Overall, there were only 26 crimes per thousand of population in the Tipperary Garda Division last year, which was one of the lowest figures reported in the entire country.
Still, Tipperary is ranked third in Munster for incidents of burglaries. Limerick was second with 1,479, with Cork reporting 1,675 burglaries.
Superintendent Pat Lordan of Thurles Garda Station attributed some of decrease to regular checkpoints and increased help from the general pubic in detecting and preventing crime in the locality. Burglaries are up by about 13% to 14% during the 12-month period July 2011 to July 2012, in Thurles. However, there was good news in other categories of crime. “Overall, property crime would be down by about 20% in 2012 versus 2011,” said Supt Pat Lordan. “It’s down by quite a lot in some of the areas.” Some of the drop-off in crime may be due to a lot more checkpoints, in a Garda Operation called Operation Waterline. Supt Lordan said the checkpoints serve two uses: detecting drink driving and general crime. “That has transpired into the national model of Operation Fiacla,” added Supt Lordan. “We would be doing quite a lot of crime checkpoints every day of the week throughout the District. And we would also be doing MACS (Mandatory Alcohol Checkpoints).
The latest data shows that 742 burglaries were reported in Tipperary last year. “We also have a huge input from the local media,” said Supt Lordan, “along with working with people in Neighbourhood Watch, and Community Alert Groupings. They would be very active, particularly in the rural areas. The general public are very switched on at the moment.” Supt Lordan said they work closely with these groups in highlighting certain types of crimes, and in looking for help in solving crimes.
Supt Lordan appealed to members of the public to remain on their guard in relation to burglaries. “Burglaries are still the one we’re trying to target most. We have checkpoints up, but people need to be aware of their security as well, and always be aware of who is around the place.”