In recent weeks there have been in number of crimes in the general West Cavan area and adjoining locations in counties Fermanagh and Leitrim which are a cause of major concern to local residents. During that time at least three quad bikes, a ride on lawnmower, other agricultural and garden equipment were stolen in the Dowra, Blacklion and Belcoo areas and one business premises broken into in Blacklion.
West Cavan Fianna Fáil Councillor John Paul Feeley told the Leitrim Observer, “I, and all local residents are very concerned about the recent spree of crime in our locality. These are the incidents which have been reported to the Gardai; there may be others and I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a crime to report the matter to the Gardai immediately.”
Some of the incidents, which happened in County Fermanagh would give the impression that the criminals involved were making use of the border as a mechanism to avoid detection. However there has been close cooperation between the Gardai and the PSNI in relation to these crimes. Councillor Feeley has also been in regular contact with senior Gardai in the area about the increase in in criminal activity locally and the need for additional Garda resources.
"West Cavan is at a significant remove from the main Garda stations in the region and are therefore reliant on stations that are open only for a number of hours each week. There are however regularly Gardai on duty and patrolling the area outside of those hours. That being said there is a sense of isolation in rural communities such as those in West Cavan and this crime spree has certainly raised the levels of concern greatly.
"I would urge all locals to be particularly vigilant, to report any unusual vehicles or individuals to the Gardai immediately. If someone has a lawful reason to be in a particular place then they have no reason to be concerned if the Gardai query their business in the area. I would also appeal to people to be careful of their property and to keep an extra eye out for older or vulnerable people living locally. We can never stop crime but each of us can play a part in making crime more difficult," he stated.