Calls for rural vigilance after a 15% rise in robberies

The rise in robberies in the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for recorded crime are a cause for real concern, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA’s) rural development chairman, Seamus Sherlock.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “The days of there being a Garda station in every village are long gone; the onus is very much on people remaining vigilant in their own rural communities.

“These figures are alarming to say the least. Robbery implies the use of force and a 15% rise in these types of incidents will no doubt cause widespread fear in rural Ireland – where people feel most vulnerable.

Particular vigilance is required now and, as the evenings draw shorter, it is vitally important to look out for one another.

The statistics released this week also reveal an increase in the level of theft and related offences.

Sherlock warned that those living in rural Ireland will feel most exposed.

“Incidents of theft have risen to 68,248 cases and we must remember that each of these crimes have an emotional as well as a financial impact,” he added.

Concluding, Sherlock acknowledged the efforts of various community policing initiatives – but he warned that people are still living in fear.

“It is clear now that additional resources will have to be allocated if there is to be any hope of a meaningful reduction in crime statistics,” he said.