Crime reduced by half in South Kilkenny

Travelling criminals successfully targeted in garda operations

Mary Cody @marygcody

Recent crime figures indicate that burglaries in South Kilkenny have been reduced by over half during the first quarter of 2017.

Superintendent Derek Hughes of Thomastown District explained that while one burglary is one too many for An Garda Síochána, the figures are encouraging.

“During the first three months of the year we have focused our activity on intercepting, apprehending and deterring travelling criminals who are using the roads network to access South Kilkenny with checkpoints in strategic locations in Thomastown, Graigenamanagh, Paulstown, Glenmore, Kilmacow, Piltown, Mooncoin and Mullinavat,” he said.

Local detectives and uniformed gardaí man these checkpoints with assistance from the Regional Armed Response Unit based at Waterford.

"In the Thomastown district we are fortunate not to have a significant problem with home grown criminals, our biggest challenge is to intercept criminals travelling from neighbouring counties and from Dublin and we had a number of successful detections on checkpoints since the start of the year," he added.

The reductions during 2017 follow sustained reductions in crime since 2013 which saw South Kilkenny hit with 172 burglaries that year compared to  70 burglaries in the district last year.

According to Supt Hughes these checkpoints are serving to deter travelling criminals but also to reassure non criminal members of the public that An Garda Síochána are out in force to protect them and their property.

Superintendent Hughes highlighted the importance of continued close co-operation between An Garda Síochána and the public to reduce crime further.

“In the past two weeks we have conducted 137 checkpoints in the Thomastown District and this high level of garda activity combined with the assistance of the public through text alert and community alert schemes is driving the reductions in crime. It is very important that we continue this close co-operation as it will be a considerable challenge to sustain these reductions in crime and to continue to make South Kilkenny an inhospitable place for criminals.

Superintendent Hughes added that any person who is concerned about crime or feeling vulnerable should contact the Gardaí, “having far less crime to investigate than in previous years, we find ourselves in the happy place where we have more time to invest in communities listening to concerns and acting to make the vulnerable in our communities feel safer”.

Superintendent Hughes urged anyone with concerns about crime to contact their local Garda Station.

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