Crimes on the fall across Down District

Crimes on the fall across Down District

THE number of crimes recorded in Down District has fallen slightly over the past year.

Figures comparing April to December 2012 to the same period last year show a 2.9 per cent reduction, meaning 2,145 crimes were committed.

The figures were revealed at a meeting of Down Policing and Community Partnership last Tuesday by Area Commander, Chief Inspector Deirdre Bones.

Burglaries and violent crime have also reduced but remain at high levels.

The number of burglaries carried out on commercial premises have ped 17.8 per cent to 282, while domestic burglaries have fallen 7.1 per cent to 156.

Theft is up 2.6 per cent, anti-social behaviour is also up 2.4 per cent and violent crime is down 5.4 per cent.

Following her report, Chief Inspector Bones said: “Overall the picture is still very positive for Down but we are beginning to see some figures creeping up.”

Ms. Bones said that with continued decreases in anti-social behaviour in recent years it was not surprising this had started to level off.

She said they also needed to keep “hammering home” the message of keeping valuables out of sight from opportunistic thieves and securing homes.

She said a pattern of thefts from vehicles had become apparent at local churches and urged people not leave valuables behind when they attended services.

Members were asked if they had particular issues of concern that they wished to suggest for consideration in next year’s Local Policing Plan.

Councillor Liam Johnston said “drugs were a big problem”, while Patsy Toman said “organised gangs” were responsible for many local burglaries and needed to be tackled.

Ms. Bones acknowledge that there were organised crime gangs.

“We are looking at strategies,” she said.

Apart from this, however, members said they were happy for the new policing plan to work along the lines of the existing plan, whose priorities include the reduction of burglaries, anti-social behaviour and violent crime, along with less deaths and serious injuries on the road.

The newly formed Policing and Community Safety Partnership is yet to have a meeting in public but is expected to do so in the New Year.