Crime up in Dungannon – but so are detections, say police

WHILST overall crime levels in the local district is up, so are detections, the Dungannon and South Tyrone District Policing Partnership heard at Tuesday night's meeting.

Presenting the figures for April 2005-March 2006 were Chief Inspector Angela Martin and Inspector Alwyn Barton from Dungannon PSNI.

An increase of 8.7 per cent on last year's total number of crimes was reported.

Inspector Martin said: "There was a 17 per cent reduction in domestic burglary and a three % reduction in the theft of vehicles, however there has been a marked increase in the numbers of violence crime and criminal damage."

Inspector Barton explained that the reason for the rise in crime levels was due mainly to the fact that drugs seizures were now recorded as a crime, as were the breaking of non-molestation orders.

Commenting on the recent drugs swoop in Moy, DPP Chairman Anthony McGonnell commended both the police and public for their input.

"This was obviously good policing and the community played their part," he said.

Councillor McGonnell paid further tribute to the police for reducing the numbers of domestic burglaries, but added that the fact that crime in general was up was "a concern that the PSNI, DPP and indeed everybody in the Borough Council needs to be addressing."

Intelligence

Explaining some of the police's methods used to combat crimes such as burglaries, Inspector Barton told the members that they used intelligence to focus resources on key figures.

"We have thus taken these people out of circulation and left the community a safer place " he commented.

"We also have a Licensees Forum which meets regularly, and police bring items to the agenda which are causing concern.

"For example, the England v Portugal game is on this weekend – we ask licence holders if we need to be aware of any problems that might result.

"Successful crime tackling can be attributed to good development of interaction with the community.

"Beat officers are talking to people on the ground and getting in the know about what's going on. That is helping investigations.

"We have a crime controller so that also helps considerably."