WESTPORT’S Garda chief has confirmed there have been a number of arrests relating to the recent spate of burglaries in the town and its environs. Speaking at yesterday’s Joint Policing Committee meeting, Supt Aiden Foley said that following covert operations by gardaí there had been six arrests in relation to the burglaries that occurred during the summer and that three people were now before the courts.
The superintendent was responding to a question by Independent Cllr Martin Keane who asked was there ‘any progress on the spate of burglaries’.
Supt Foley also said: “For the first nine months of this year there was no increase in burglaries in this district, in comparison to last year. I do know there was an increase, however, in July and August.”
Commenting, Cllr Myles Staunton said such a series of incidents ‘can create panic among older people who are vulnerable’. He said he had spoken to people who were ‘quite frightened’ about the break-ins and thefts.
Cllr Christy Hyland said that it was ‘a worrying trend’ that nationally there has been a ten per cent increase in burglaries.
“I am very concerned about the Community Alert system because of cutbacks in garda resources. While I welcome the new rostering system, introduced through the Croke Park agreement, I think it facilitates urban centres and will not benefit rural Ireland,” Cllr Hyland said.
He noted that there were now more garda personnel in Dublin’s Store Street station than in the entire county of Mayo.
Chairman, Cllr Ollie Gannon said: “Our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, must be protected at all costs.”
Supt Foley confirmed there were no plans to close any more garda stations in the Westport District during 2013.
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