Garda blitz on bur­glar­ies and thefts brings pos­i­tive re­sults


Bray People - - NEWS -

THE ma­jor­ity of all types of prop­erty crime in­creased last year in Wick­low ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures.

Speak­ing at last week’s meet­ing of the Joint Polic­ing Com­mit­tee, Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent John Quirke said that rob­bery of an es­tab­lish­ment or in­sti­tu­tion was down by two in­ci­dents com­pared to 2016 while theft from a per­son was down by one in­ci­dent.

Car thefts were down by five while thefts from shops were down by three in­ci­dents.

How­ever, there were in­creases in all other thefts. Rob­bery from a per­son was up by three in­ci­dents, ag­gra­vated bur­glar­ies dou­bled from three in 2016 to six in 2017 while bur­glary in­creased by 61 from 635 in­ci­dents to 696 in­ci­dents.

Thefts from ve­hi­cles in­creased by 30 from 578 to 608 while theft of other prop­erty in­creased by 79 from 412 to 491. The theft of bikes also rose by 20 from 72 to 92.

In re­spect of rob­beries from es­tab­lish­ments, Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said that, of the seven in­ci­dents, five oc­curred in the Bray divi­sion while the re­main­ing two took place in the Wick­low divi­sion. There were no in­ci­dents in Balt­in­glass. This com­pares very favourable for Balt­in­glass where there had been three such rob­beries in 2016. Bray re­mained static while Wick­low in­creased by one.

How­ever, de­spite the in­crease, he said that the de­tec­tion rate for such crimes was on the rise with 57 per cent of the cases de­tected, com­pared to 44 per cent in 2016.

He said that the gar­daí were still work­ing on the other un­solved cases.

In re­spect of rob­beries from the per­son Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said that there were 19 cases in 2017; three were in the Balt­in­glass dis­trict, eleven were in Bray and five were in Wick­low.

The de­tec­tion rate for 2017 was on a par with 2016 and stands at 26 per cent.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said the gar­daí had car­ried out a bit of a blitz to­wards the end of 2017 which is some­thing they had also done on 2016.

He said that there are gen­er­ally more rob­beries in the lead up to Christ­mas and the blitz tar­gets these.

There was a 100 per cent in­crease in ag­gra­vated bur­glar­ies in the county last year, with the fig­ure ris­ing from three to six. Three of these were in the Balt­in­glass area while there was one in Bray and two in Wick­low.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said that two of the six were solved while gar­daí were still work­ing on the re­main­ing four.

In re­spect of the in­ci­dents in Balt­in­glass, which in­creased from one in 2016 to three in 2017, he said that many peo­ple are liv­ing in more iso­lated cir­cum­stances, adding that two of the rob­beries had tar­geted the homes of el­derly peo­ple.

‘ This is some­thing we are keen to tackle’, he said. ‘We have a num­ber of ini­tia­tives in place and we have also started an older per­son’s reg­is­ter. We are con­fi­dent that this will give in­creased se­cu­rity for el­derly peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly those who are liv­ing in iso­lated ar­eas.

Other bur­glar­ies were up 10 per cent from 635 to 696. Of these, 136 were in Balt­in­glass, 401 were in Bray and 159 were in Wick­low. Bur­glar­ies in Balt­in­glass and Bray were both up com­pared to 2016 with Balt­in­glass up by 47 (53 per cent) and Bray up 70 (21 per cent).

Bur­glar­ies in Wick­low, how­ever, de­creased from 215 to 159, a de­crease of 26 per cent. The de­tec­tion rate for bur­glar­ies dropped by four per cent to seven per cent.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said there had been a ‘very sub­stan­tial’ de­crease in bur­glar­ies in 2016. He said that last Septem­ber when gar­daí no­ticed a spike in bur­glar­ies, they es­tab­lished a num­ber of new ini­tia­tives to tackle the prob­lem.

He said they are tar­get­ing pro­lific of­fend­ers and have dif­fer­ent gar­daí as­signed as case man­agers. They are con­stantly watch­ing the of­fend­ers and, where pos­si­ble, ob­ject­ing to bail.

‘We are try­ing to get all the cases brought into court to­gether so that it shows the judge that this per­son is a pro­lific of­fender.

‘We are also tar­get­ing crim­i­nal groups com­ing into Wick­low from out­side the county. In Jan­uary we had a big suc­cess stop­ping a gang from Bal­lyfer­mot.

‘Since Oc­to­ber, bur­glar­ies are down 23 per cent and the fig­ures for Jan­uary 2018 show a de­crease of 44 per cent on the same pe­riod last year.

‘ There were 118 bur­glar­ies in Jan­uary 2017 and there were 48 in Jan­uary 2018 which is a very sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion. Jan­uary is al­ways the worst month for bur­glar­ies,’ he said.

In re­spect of thefts from a per­son, there was a three per cent re­duc­tion coun­ty­wise in 2017, drop­ping from 30 in­ci­dents in 2016 to 29 in 2017.

Of these three were in Balt­in­glass, 17 in Bray and nine in Wick­low. He said that the Wick­low divi­sion saw an in­crease of two in­ci­dents com­pared to 2016, adding that peo­ple were be­ing tar­geted as they alighted buses and trains.

‘We have put mea­sures in place to deal with this and Ark­low now has ap­proval for CCTV and we are hope­ful of get­ting more,’ he said.

The de­tec­tion rate for thefts from a per­son dipped from 27 per cent in 2016 to just seven per cent in 2017.

Thefts from ve­hi­cles were up 5 per cent or 30 in­ci­dents. Of the 608 in­ci­dents, 48 were in Balt­in­glass, 305 were in Bray and 255 were in Wick­low.

Balt­in­glass was the only dis­trict which saw a re­duc­tion in thefts from ve­hi­cles last year, drop­ping from 86 to 48. Both Bray and Wick­low in­creased by 13 and 14 per cent re­spec­tively.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said there was a change of pat­tern in such thefts. ‘In the past, a lot of these thefts oc­curred in tourist ar­eas but there’s been a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in these places. Now thefts are tak­ing place from ve­hi­cles parked in res­i­den­tial ar­eas overnight.

‘We’ve changed our pa­trols to deal with this.’

He said that in many cases the peo­ple in­volved in the thefts are pro­lific of­fend­ers.

Thefts of other prop­erty are up 19 per cent, ris­ing from 412 in 2016 to 491 in 2017.

Of these, 107 oc­curred in the Balt­in­glass area, 234 in Bray and 150 in Wick­low. He said the de­tec­tion rate for 2017 for these crimes stands at 17 per cent.

Many of these thefts re­late to drive-offs from ser­vice sta­tions af­ter get­ting fuel and Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said there had been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in such crimes last year.

‘In the last six months of 2017, there were 56 cases, mostly oc­cur­ring at night.’

The theft of ve­hi­cles dropped by seven per cent from 74 in 2016 to 69 in 2017. Of these, 15 took place in Balt­in­glass which was the same as 2016; 34 took place in Bray, which again re­mained the same as 2016, while 20 took place in Wick­low – was a drop of five in­ci­dents com­pared to 2016.

He urged home­own­ers not to leave their keys near the front door to help pre­vent such crimes.

Thefts of bikes in­creased by 28 per cent, a rise of 20 cases from 72 in 2016 to 92 in 2016.

Of these, six were in Balt­in­glass (a drop of one), 65 were in Bray (an in­crease of 10) and 21 were in Wick­low (an in­crease of nine).

The de­tec­tion rate in 2017 was 12 per cent, an in­crease of 2 per cent.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Quirke said that a lot of bikes were be­ing stolen from bus and train sta­tions around the county and the gar­daí have in­creased pa­trols in these ar­eas.

Thefts from shops were down one per cent, a drop of three from 510 to 507. Of these, 45 were in Balt­in­glass, 303 in Bray and 159 in Wick­low. There was a de­tec­tion rate of 60 per cent, a drop of eight per cent.

He said that many of the thefts took place at the Bridge­wa­ter Shop­ping Cen­tre in Ark­low and chemist shops around the county.

He said that phar­ma­cies were very vul­ner­a­ble and thieves were tar­get­ing per­fume and teeth whiten­ing kits, which were high value items that were easy to sell on.


The num­ber of thefts from ve­hi­cles in­creased from 578 in 2016 to 608 last year.

There was a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of bi­cy­cles stolen and gar­daí say that thieves ap­pear to be tar­get­ing bus stops and train sta­tions.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent John Quirke.

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