Burglaries down in Mullingar last year

Non-aggravated burglaries were down by 15 per cent in Mullingar last year compared to a 36 per cent rise in Athlone, according to figures released last week.

Addressing a meeting of the Westmeath Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Superintendent David Nolan said that a lot of these crimes were the work of recidivists on release from prison. Some included thefts of bicycles, lawn mowers and tools from garden sheds.

"Six burglaries were committed across Mullingar town last Monday, two in commercial premises and two in national schools. We arrested and charged a suspect in relation to those crimes and he was taken before the courts and remanded in custody," Superintendent Nolan revealed.

The number of property crimes committed in Mullingar last year was up by 22 per cent (703) on the previous year, compared to a 55 per cent (1,153) increase in Athlone. The detection rate in both towns was just over 30 per cent, above the national average.

There was a huge increase in the unauthorised taking of vehicles in Athlone, up by 115 per cent (28) compared to 41 taken in Mullingar, an increase of 17 per cent. The detection rates were 25 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

Superintendent Nolan explained that these figures include thefts of bicycles and E-scooters, which are on the increase. Also, some of the cars being imported from Japan are not fitted with immobilisers and are easier to steal which feeds into those figures.

Thefts from shops were up 66 per cent (535) in Athlone and 38 per cent (355) in Mullingar while the detection rates were 48 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Thefts from vehicles were down marginally in both towns and the detection rates were five per cent in Athlone and 8 per cent in Mullingar. Thefts of property was up by 66 per cent in Athlone and 17 per cent in Mullingar with 12 per cent and 15 per cent detection rates respectively.

There was a slight decrease, two per cent, in crimes against the person in Athlone, down from 264 to 260, and a two per cent increase in Mullingar from 265 to 270, while the detection rates were 19 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Four hundred and eighty hours of overtime given to providing gardai on the beat in those towns over Christmas led to a significant reduction in assaults and public order incidents on the streets, the meeting was told.