Chief Supt. Catherine Kehoe.
Public order offences in the Tipperary Garda Division have increased by a whopping 26%, members of the Tipperary Joint Policing Committee have been informed this week.
And, Garda Chief Superintendent Catherine Kehoe has also revealed that she has requirements for forty additional Gardai across the county, and has made a request to the Acting Commissioner for these additional resources.
The jump in public order crimes is being attributed to the “ increased activity in the night time economy” according to the Chief Superintendent who also revealed that more Gardai are on the streets at night time, hence the big increase in detections.
There has also been a big increase in detections for sale and supply of drugs which is up by 24% and the Chief Superintendent lauded the work of the dedicated drugs units in Clonmel and Thurles which have made significant gains. In contrast the number of detections of drugs for personal use is down by 11%, a statistic which the Chief Supt described as being 'encouraging'.
Questioned by Sinn Fein Councillor David Doran if she was happy with the resouces at her disposal in the Tipperary Garda Division, Chief Superintendent Kehoe said that she could do with about another 40 Gardai as there would be “plenty of work for them to do”.
“New probationers bring a great vibrancy and energy to the stations when they arrive and we could well do with more. This is a very large rural district with three major transport arteries going through it. I have asked for these additional resources, so we'll just have to wait and see,” she said.
The Chief Superintendent gave a comprehensive rundown of the crime figures for the Division across all sectors with the succsss of a number of events under Operation Thor proving particularly pleasing. The Operation Thor summeritme campaign is currently underway and has been very successful so far, she said.
Property crime has risen by 3% but the detection rate has gone up by some 34% which is very welcome.
Theft from shops is up by 5% while theft from the person is up by 100% - detection rate is running at 37% for this.
Theft from cars is up by 38% and the Gardai have advised people to be very mindful of leaving valuables in vehicles, especially during the summertime when people may be going for walks or engaging in leisure activities.
Other thefts are up by 2% while criminal damage is down by 4%, the Chief Superintendent said.
Assaults causing harm have jumped by 44% in the last year, while minor assaults, some of which are as a result of domestic violence, are up by 26%.
Meanwhile, Cllr Hughie McGrath has brought to the attention of the Gardai, an issue with people using the footpaths to cycle on.
This might not be the most serious of crimes, the Nenagh based councillor acknowledged, but he added that cyclists on the footpaths can startle pedestrians and the elderly and said that it should not be allowed to happen. He did not wish to see offenders prosecuted, but said that some kind of warning or “word in the ear” should be administered to help stamp out this action.
Chief Superintendent Kehoe said that cycling on footpaths is not a small issue. “ This is actually a very big issue because people can often get a fright when they see a bicycle coming and can lose their balance. I think this is something that we could deal with through the school programme and I will certainly bring this to table for discussion with our relevant people. I would not wish to criminalise people who offend, eventhough it is illegal. I have experienced it myself and it is not nice,” the Chief Superintendent said.