Limerick Divisional Chief Superintendent Dave SheehanTHE fear and consternation caused by crime in rural communities is one of biggest challenges facing Gardaí, a divisional neighbourhood watch and community policing meeting has been told.Addressing representatives from communities all over County Limerick, Chief Superintendent Dave Sheehan said that “one of the biggest problems that we as an organisation have to face up to is the whole concept of fear of crime.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “You can go to an area and one major burglary or something like that can cause absolute consternation in the community.“It could be your neighbour who is elderly, it could be your neighbour who is young, it doesn’t really matter.“But the reality of that is the stigma that is attached, not only to the person but to the community that’s involved, is very hard to shake off.“What happens after that is that when the media get hold of some of these things and all of a sudden we are firefighting to try to say that maybe things are not as bad. I’m not being critical of the media but we are not good at getting out the factual information to let you know what is actually happening on the ground”, he said.The meeting in the Woodlands House Hotel was to “encourage constructive community participation in policing, to promote responsible community engagement or involvement and, to assist in the promotion of good crime prevention.”The Chief Superintendent warned that the “perception that comes from the ground” can often be misleading as to the actual crime statistics for an area.“We have made in-roads in dealing with crime and although the closure of rural Garda stations accentuated the fears of crime, we have made ground against criminals in a number of avenues”.Outlining the 2,766 sq km area that the Limerick Garda Division covers, Chief Supt Sheehan said that “we could do with a few more Gardaí when you see that the national average of people to Gardaí is 157 to 1 member. In Limerick however it is 366 members of the public to every one Garda within the division.”Chief Supt Sheehan revealed that there has been a slight increase in the numbers of crimes reported from 2014 to 2015.The amount of property seized has also increased.However, crimes against the person saw a 30 per cent increase while weapons offences dropped by 24 per cent.There was a 50 per cent reduction in aggravated burglaries from 2014 to 2015, following what Chief Supt Sheahan described as the “excellent garda work in bringing to justice those perpetrators of the attacks in Pallasgreen and surrounding areas”. Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Facebook Previous articleReginald D Hunter: stand-up, sex appeal and soulNext articleTV – Something for the weekend Sport on TV Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Print Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Email Twitter WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live NewsGarda chief says ‘fear of crime’ is biggest challengeBy Staff Reporter – May 26, 2016 1064 Advertisement TAGSAn Garda SíochánaCrimeDave SheehanGardalimerick Linkedin
More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Schenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion When Commerce Secretary Ross announced that the census questionnaire will include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census, he made a decision that will have a negative impact on residents of the Capital Region and in communities around this country. It might seem like an innocuous question, but it is likely to cause fear in the immigrant community and result in substantial undercounting.Many resource allocation decisions are made on the basis of census data. Money for public safety planning and disaster response, education needs, hospitals, veterans’ assistance, transportation, aid to cities, and much else is allocated at least partially by how many people live where. Our business developers use census data to choose where and how to invest. Undercounting makes all these decisions less efficient, and thus harms us all.The League of Women Voters of Schenectady County calls on our local officials to speak out and oppose the citizenship question in the 2020 census. We must send a strong message to have Congress reverse this decision and remove the citizenship question from the census. The stakes are too high to allow this unnecessary question to derail the count.Cheryl NechamenSchenectadyThe writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.