THE need for a fully resourced crime office in the Bruff Garda Division to deal with the upsurge in burglaries in East Limerick was highlighted at this month’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee.
Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche told local public representatives that, so far this year, aggravated and non-aggravated burglaries had increased by 95 per cent in Bruff district.
Chief Supt Roche, who took up the top spot in the Limerick Garda Division this February, indicated that burglaries had risen in the area from 20 last year to 39 for the same period this year.
Property crime in Bruff rose by 33 per cent for the year to date in comparison to this time last year. There were 44 property crimes in 2017, which was up to 66 for the same period in 2018.
Chief Supt Roche said he was aware of the challenges before reassuring councillors that he is “very committed” to dealing with the spike in burglaries. He also pointed out that Bruff was the largest Garda district in the entire country.
“We are actively doing what we can. Most burglaries take place during the day while people are out at work or doing their shopping up to seven or eight o’clock. Commercial premises are targeted at night from seven or eight o’clock. If the opportunity to commit crime arises they will take it,” he said.
Fianna Fail councillor for Cappamore-Kilmallock, Eddie Wade said a message needed to be sent out in Bruff so that people did not have to live in fear of being burgled.
Party colleague Sean Lynch, a former garda detective, took the view that there is a need for a “fully resourced crime office” in Bruff to deal with the more serious crimes being committed.
“It is a huge area,” he declared.
Chief Supt Roche assured councillors that while “supervision is an issue” and he is currently “fighting for resources”, Bruff he said had a “fairly good set up” to deal with the issues in East Limerick.
“We are very committed to targeting these criminals. We have a good few cars and can get more resources from town when we need them.”
Overall, crime was up by 12 per cent on 2017 year to date in Limerick Garda Division. Garda Siochana analysis revealed a two per cent increase in Henry Street district from 439 to 449; a 13 per cent increase in Newcastle West district from 85 to 98, and 24 per cent increase in Roxboro Road district from 178 to 234.
by Alan Jacques