There has been a drop in recorded crime incidents across Co Kildare between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the same period in 2018, the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told earlier this week. However, aggravated burglaries had risen slightly.
Other positives from the annual report included a decrease in car thefts and a reduction in motor accidents, resulting in serious and non serious injuries.
The Policing Report to Co Kildare JPC for March was told that overall crime incidents had fallen from 871 to 841. But the figures varied depending on the type of crime.
The meeting at Kildare County Council headquarters on March 2 heard that there was an 8% rise in aggravated burglary in the Kildare division between the two quarters from 253 to 272. Gardaí reported that someone was caught for aggravated burglary in two thirds of all cases in Q4 2019. They also say they expect an increase in burglaries during Q1 2020 due to the time of the year.
Garda Supt Ollie Henry said that regarding mobile crime, they have been doing work with Circle K filling stations, to combat drivers exiting stations without paying for fuel.
“We expect to see this type of crime going down,” he said. There were 184 theft from shops in Q4 2019, almost the same as 182 in Q4 2018. In some cases, these are not reported for a couple of days and gardaí find that the CCTV is not working.
Car thefts seriously reduced
The meeting was also told that people continue to leave cars unlocked outside their homes and leave valuable, including passports, in them. However, the number of car thefts fell from 79 to 35 helped by a national garda campaign.
Many of these thefts involve people taking cars out of the country. Criminal damage incidents were down from 23 to 19, according to the Policing Report. Many of these are damage to cars or domestic incidents. Some related to the Halloween period and wheelie bins being set on fire.
There were 117 public order incidents, which the gardaí said was not too bad given the Christmas period. Regarding drugs incidents, there were 47 cases of possession for sale and supply in Q4 2019, compared to 43 in Q4 2018. These are normally cases where the street value of the drugs is estimated at €1,500 or higher.
Illegal drug crimes
Supt Henry said there has been a large increase in resources to tackle illegal drug crime. He said the finds are a drop in the ocean but there have been some significant ones, including, recently, a large heroin find in Clane. He said there has been a big increase in cocaine finds.
The number of simple drug possession incidents, where the drug is not deemed to be for sale and supply, increased 12% from 180 to 201 between the two quarters.
The breakdown of the incidents between the areas in the county was as follows: in the Kildare town area, the number of cases changed from 81 to 78; in Newbridge, it stayed the same on 60; and in Leixlip area (which runs to Carbury and Derrinturn in west Kildare), it rose from 39 to 63.
Gardaí stated they remain worried about the drink driving and traffic accidents. There were 454 traffic collisions where the damage was not material in Q4 2019, compared to 470 in Q4 2018.
Road accidents down
There were 50 cases of accidents with non serious injury (53 in Q4 2018) and there were 12 incidents in which there was serious injury, down from 25 in Q4 2018.