The latest crime statistics show theft and burglary are on the increase in Donegal while drink driving and public order offences have been in decline over the past 12 months.
Burglary saw an increase of 21 to 118 between the third quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of this year while the number of thefts rose from 297 to 355. Aggravated burglaries increased from one to two over the 12 months and theft from a person increased from four to six.
Thefts from a shop fell however from 73 last year to 51. Fraud, deception and related offences are also on the way down falling from 47 to 34.
The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the Donegal Garda division show drink driving fell from 112 to 81 and the number of assaults fell from 151 to 131 during the same period. The number of assaults causing harm fell from 51 to 34. Public order offences in the same period fell from 570 to 495 while the number of criminal damages offences dropped from 238 to 213.
Possession of drugs for personal use is on the rise having increased from 43 to 64 compare to the same period last year.
Chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Cllr. Patrick McGowan said the crime trends seems to reflect the economic conditions in the county adding that burglary would be seen as a crime of a recession. The fact that many of the crimes are down is also due to good policing, he said. “Definitely a lot of the figures are falling and the economic reality is showing in them and that’s why burglary is up,” he said. The JPC has been told that a lot of the burglaries taking pace in the county are ‘walk-ins’, he said. “Even with all the publicity people are still careless and many burglaries are avoidable.” There is a cross-border element to some of the burglaries and that is why there is concern about the review of the number of Garda stations in the county, he said.