A garda chief has said that only a return to basic "neighbourly values" among householders and businesspeople, combined with garda action, can beat the growing plague of burglaries in Meath - which have surged 40 per cent between 2010 and 2011, according to latest statistics.
The number of burglaries (not aggravated) in Meath rose substantially quarter by quarter last year, reaching a total of 1,176 in the county last year. The number of similar burglaries in 2010 was 831.
In the first quarter of last year, there were 265 burglaries (not aggravated) compared to 191 in 2010; in the second quarter of last year there were 240 (235 in 2010). The third quarter of last year saw 288 such burglaries, up from 179 in 2010, and in the final quarter of 2011, there were 383 such offences compared to 226 in 2010.
The rate of increase in this type of offence stands at eight per cent nationally. However, there were heavier increases in some garda divisions, while Meath recorded a 40 per cent rise in this type of offence.
Superintendent Michael Devine of Navan Garda Station said that while some people put the rate of increase in non-aggravated burglary down to the effects of the recession, there was also the factor of Meath's proximity to Dublin. He said the county was vulnerable to forays from Dublin down the M3 and M4 motorways, and even the M1. These were routes which could give criminals easy access to and from Meath, he said.
To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.