Major rise in theft offences
ELDERLY people across the county are going to bed at 7 p.m. 'afraid of their lives' due to the scourge of burglaries which are on the rise in County Wexford.
There has been a 7 per cent rise in burglaries in County Wexford and a 13 per cent increase in thefts from farms and yards.
Chief Superintendent John Roche said the problem of thefts from cars is also a concern, while there has been a dramatic decrease in robberies and thefts from shops.
Supt Roche said contrary to recent reports in the national media, most burglaries are committed in urban areas.
'I consider the whole of County Wexford to be rural but a lot of burglaries are committed in the towns,; he said, adding that there have been few burglaries this month.
Cllr George Lawlor said thugs are arriving into the county on the motorway.
'With the two new motorways coming into the heart of the county should we be monitoring these roads using CCTV and a modern policing model.'
Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan asked if community text alert schemes are assisting Gardaí in tackling rural crime. Supt Roche said Wexford Gardaí have been assisted by regional Garda units, alluding to a covert operation which led to the arrests of seven members of one family in August.
'We did a cover up operation and it took seven months to see it through.'
He said the N11 and the new motorways will pose challenges for Gardaí, adding that CCTV on off ramps would be very benficial to policing.
'There are data protection and civil liberty groups who may not agree but cameras at off ramps would help. It's not all about gangs coming down from Dublin though. In Monageer last week it was locals who committed the crimes.'
Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy praised the Gardaí for their work in Monageer, adding that there is a great deal of fear in rural communities about burglaries.
'You go to one house and people are terrified and you got to another and the door is wide open and these people haven't learned to fear. In the UK there are cameras on the roads which detect cars, not only for speeding, but which can track where they have been and are going.'
Supt Roche said the winter months traditionally see a spike in burglaries and he urged people to be vigilant and to lock their doors as burglars are opportunistic.