Burglaries down thanks to clampdown on gangs

Pleased: Superintendent Chris Delaney.

Pleased: Superintendent Chris Delaney.

Justine Dwyer
A major clampdown on criminal gangs committing burglaries throughout Waterford city and county has proved extremely successful, claimed Garda Superintendent Chris Delaney.

Speaking at the Joint Policing Committee held in Dungarvan last Wednesday, Superintendent Delaney said the number of burglaries being committed had been reduced by 36 per cent in 2016.

“This has taken a lot of work,” he said. “We have had multiple operations ongoing and they have helped us identify various groups. But unfortunately there are still people determined to carry out burglaries especially this time of year.”

Superintendent Delaney said that Operation Thor was the Gardaí’s biggest operation recently which saw 10 searches being carried out resulting in eight arrests.

“That involved a lot of manpower and effort. These kind of results don’t happen by chance. We are determined to keep at this.”

He went on to say that much of the success was due to members of the public coming forward with information regarding suspicious activity. “That kind of information is invaluable to us. It helps us prosecute people in a much more stream-lined manner.”

However whilst burglaries were down, the number of assaults being committed in 2016 have increased. “A lot of these are drink related and it is a worrying trend. As is the increase of possession of offensive weapons such as knives and screwdrivers etc.”

There were 66 cases of possession of an offensive weapon in 2016 in comparison to 45 in 2015. “The main problem is more serious incidents will arise from this sort of crime. People don’t seem to have gotten the message. This type of crime is rising and going in the wrong direction.”

Meanwhile 2016 has also seen an increase in drink driving offences. Cllr Joe Kelly (Ind) maintained that the national and local drink driving campaigns appeared to be failing and he asked was Waterford in line with everyone else.

“There has been 181 offences so far this year and we’re probably looking at another 20 or 30 by the time Christmas is over.”

Superintendent Delaney replied that the Gardaí were victims of their own success with regards to drink driving. “The offences are being detected because Gardaí are out there and there are a greater number of patrols. You would hope that there was an increased awareness, but you’re right. People don’t seem to be getting the message.”

Superintendent John Mulligan added that Waterford was in line with national figures. “We are not any different to anywhere else.”

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