The crime statistics for the Mid-Louth Policing Division – detailing the last seven months of recorded crime instances in the area – were revealed to the public at last week’s Local Policing Forum public meeting with only three of 13 categories recording decreases compared to the same period last year.
Chaired by local Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McGeough, the meeting was an opportunity for members of the Ardee and Mid-Louth community to ask questions of local Garda officials and elected officials from Louth County Council in regards to policing matters in the area.
Last year’s meeting – which was held at The Grove in Dunleer – was attended by no members of the public but this year’s meeting in Ardee Parish Centre enjoyed a 1800% better attendance, with 18 members of the public coming along to ask questions of the Garda Superintendents and Louth County Council officials.
Ardee Superintendent Fergus Treanor was joined by former Ardee Superintendent Andrew Watters and new Chief Superintendent for Louth Christy Mangan in addressing the crowd, with Treanor running through the crime statistics for Ardee from April to October of this year, comparing them with figures for the same period last year.
As shown in the table below, only burglary, unauthorised taking of vehicles and theft from vehicles saw decreases year-on-year. There were increases of 20% or more in robbery, minor assualt, criminal damage and public order offences. Treanor confirmed most burglaries were occuring in Ardee town itself.
The most stark figures showed sizeable increases in instances of drug crime but as far as the drug figures were concerned, the figures are active prosecutions as opposed to reported incidents which made up figures in other categories. Treanor says that is due to an increase in pro activity on the Gardai’s part to tackle drug crime in the area.
There have been 25 arrests made for possession of drugs in the divisional area – Ardee, Collon, Castlebellingham, Louth Village – between April and October of this year, mostly in the Ardee area, the figures show. That is up from just nine in 2016. Whilst no prosecutions were sought for the sale or supply of drugs in Ardee in 2016, there have been 12 this year.
“We have increased our response in relation to the sale and supply of drugs. We had no instances last year but 12 in this period. Those people are before the courts for sale and supply,” Treanor told the meeting.
“We rely heavily on the the public when it comes to information regarding the sale and supply of drugs. All of the information is being passed on confidentially and acted. If the information is good and of good quality, we can act and catch these people,” he said.
In relation to recent pipe bomb and petrol bomb attacks in the area, Treanor said, “We are reacting to that and focusing our energies in relation to that. It’s a concern,” he continued. “