Provisional statistics indicate crime is down in Donegal, Garda Superintendent Vincent O’Brien told a Donegal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) public consultation in Stranorlar last week.
The public had been invited to attend a workshop on Monday, Nov. 19th, to discuss concerns and propose solutions related to policing issues. The discussions will be compiled in a report that will be presented to the full JPC at their meeting next month, and submitted to the county policing plan. Superintendent O’Brien told the meeting that although people often hear that crime is regularly on the increase, it has been going down in the Donegal Division from last year in all but one category. The superintendent said provisional statistics showed burglary was down 10 percent, theft from vehicles down 47 percent, car theft down 24 percent, theft from shops down 21 percent, assaults down 13 percent, public order offences down 17 percent, possession of drugs down 41 percent, criminal damage down 10 percent and arson down 22 percent. Drunkenness was up 3 percent in the provisional statistics, he said.
However, the superintendent also said that traditionally November records the highest number of burglaries in the county, as the dark nights grow longer; and December usually records the highest number of thefts from shops in the lead-up to Christmas.
Fianna Fáil Cllr. Seamus Ó Domhnaill said that they were discussing a decrease in crime figures, but expressed concern that a lot of crime was not being reported.
He said there was a public mindset that crime was on the rise.
Donegal Mayor, Labour Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jr., said the decrease in crime statistics had to be acknowledged but agreed there seemed to be a public perception that crime was up.
“We’ve got to learn to be more positive,” the mayor said.