Dungannon a car hijacking hotspot

Car hijackings
Car hijackings

An analysis of carjacking crimes reported to the police over the last four years has revealed the Dungannon District as one of the North’s hotspots.

Across the local district, there were nine reported incidents to police, with five in Dungannon town, two in Coalisland, and one each in Augher and Aughnacloy.

By comparison, there was just one carjacking incident in both the Cookstown and Armagh Districts, two in the Fermanagh District, and three in the Omagh District.

Only Derry had more hijacking incidents in the west of Northern Ireland.

According to police, the hijacking incidents occurred on the Moy Road, Glen Park, Lisnatrane Park, Gortin Crescent and the Ballygawley Road. In Coalisland, the hijackings occurred in Birney’s Square and The Square, on the Caledon Road, Aughnacloy, and Main Street, Augher.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) define car hijackings, also known as carjackings, as stealing a vehicle with the use or threat of force immediately before doing so.

Some of the incidents were recorded as attempted hijackings but over half of all incidents across Northern Ireland were described by police as “substantive” and in many cases the vehicles were involved in a crime or found burnt out.

The police data shows that between 2010 and 2014 there were 650 car hijackings across Northern Ireland.

Some 361 incidents resulted in the car being stolen, 297 of the incidents were attempted hijackings, 65 vehicles were burnt out, 72 vehicles were recovered, 145 of the vehicles were involved in a crime or an offence, and there were 390 arrests of 342 individuals.