CRIME is down 6% in Tullamore in the past year, the annual public meeting of the local Joint Policing Committee heard this week. However, Superintendent John Moloney said that while assaults and public order offences were well down, burglaries were up.
The meeting was chaired by Councillor Molly Buckley, who paid tribute to the work of the local Gardai.
Superintendent Moloney said that when he took up office last year, he headed a team of about 100 guards and ten civilians, but since then they were down seven staff due to cutbacks. He pointed out that when Sergeant John Walsh retires this week, he will not be replaced.
He said that robberies in rural areas were mainly carried out by east Europeans and by Dublin criminals, whereas those in urban areas were mainly the work of local criminals.
He also referred to thefts of copper piping, robberies outside cemeteries, and welcomed the impact of CCTV cameras. He said that the closure of the Harriers social club had reduced assaults on young people. Overall, there was a major decline in assaults and public order offences.
However, drug offences are up, but Superintendent Moloney said that there was not as much heroin as before, and heroin-related crime was minimal.
There was not a great problem of outside criminals moving into Tullamore, though this was a feature of Edenderry.
Councillor Brendan Killeavy welcomed the fall in heroin and raised the issue of horses wandering in housing estates.
Ms Martina Tyrrell raised the problem of quad bikes being raced in a field near Arden View, saying it was disturbing her elderly parents and neighbours.
Councillor Paddy Rowland said he had spoken to the landowner on the matter, while Councillor Killeavy suggested a local football club be let use it.
Councillor Tommy McKeigue raised the issue of outside criminals moving in. Mr Gabriel Conlan, Acting Town Clerk, said that anyone with a criminal conviction in the past five years would not get council housing, but there was no such control on private rented accommodation.