Burglaries down - but assaults go up across district

THE number of burglaries across the district has dropped by more than a quarter - but assaults are up by almost the same amount.

Figures released at the recent meeting of the District Policing Partnership in Dromore showed that assault and anti-social behaviour remained two areas where the number of recorded crimes had increased in relation to the same period last year.

Incidents of anti-social behaviour are up 10 per cent on last year but Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney said it was an issue local police were continuing to take a focused approach towards.

“Anti-social behaviour is a significant part of our policing strategy,” he said, “and a large part of that strategy is engaging with the young people.

“Many activities were planned over the summer months, which traditionally see an increase in anti-social behaviour.

“Analytical reports will help identify trends and hotspots in order for us to be proactive around this area of policing.”

The number of assaults, both those resulting in injury and those non-injury violent crimes - have also risen, with 60 more assaults recorded this year than the same period between April and August last year.

Crimes of non-domestic violence with injury were up by 26 (22.2 per cent) from 117 April-September last year to 143 for the same period this year.

Averaging the number at one a week, Mr. Mawhinney pointed out that figures took in the whole area and the incidence was not yet of “epidemic proportion”.

He said many of the incidents were still connected to the night-time economy, but not as many as previously; the economic situation being what it was, he said, many more people were staying at home and more incidents were beginning to arise as people left house parties.

The number of drug offences recorded in the four-month period rose by five on last year. There have been a number of significant local drug seizures by police in recent months.

But other figures revealed a 25 per cent drop in the number of burglaries, both domestic and non-domestic.

Domestic burglaries fell by 17 (32.7 per cent) from 52 to 35, something Mr. Mawhinney said local police were very pleased with, though 35 burglaries was still more than they would like.

Overall the total number of crimes has dropped by two per cent, with 17 less recorded crimes than the same period last year.