County Leitrim Joint Policing Committee was given an overview of garda figures for 2017 in comparison to 2016 at its meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon last Monday.
Supt. Kevin English outlined garda figures for various activities in the county.
He began by stating that public order incidents were down by 9% year on year, which was welcome news.
The highest rate of public order incidents take place in Carrick-on-Shannon between the months of May and August which corresponds with the night time economy. He said it is being reported that the night time economy has decreased by as much as 20% as other areas are now attracting hen and stag parties.
Assaults across the county were up 25% while criminal damage was up 15%.
Burglaries saw a marked increase in the county by 78%. Supt English said a trend is occurring where private and residential houses are being targeted during day time hours.
Theft from shops was down 9% while Supt English outlined the many drugs seizures that were made and growhouses that were discovered throughout the county in 2017.
He said it is an area the Gardai treat very very seriously due to its hugely destructive nature.
In relation to road safety, there was one fatal road traffic accident in the county last year, the same number as the previous year.
There was an increase of some 38% in detections of driving under the influence.
“Sadly people are beginning to drive with alcohol again,” he said, and stated that everyone has a huge part to play in helping to reduce that number and relaying the message to never drink and drive.
Supt. English took the opportunity to acknowledge the huge contribution the Gardai get from the members of the local community.
“There is a huge level of cooperation and level of trust in us,” he said, adding his appreciation to the local media for their important function in assisting An Garda Siochana.
Supt. English said that four new Probationer Gardai have been assigned to Carrick-on-Shannon, the first time in ten or twelve years that this has happened, and he said it is something they are very pleased about and hope to get more of in the future.
Three Gardai were injured in the course of their duty during 2017, directly due to assaults in Carrick-on-Shannon.
He said he is constrained with resources but is trying to balance the night time economy with the policing of festivals and rural areas as well as vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the young.
Supt. English said the public's assistance recently led to the thwarting of what he said could have been a very serious crime in Manorhamilton where two stolen cars were parked up near a financial institution in the town.
“It is something we never take for granted and something we are very mindful of,” he said.