Police urged to act over burglary spate

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Craigavon councillors have urged the PSNI to do more to curb a rise in burglaries and are to set up a working group to see how the council can help.

Councillors claim there has been an escalation in burglaries throughout the borough and called for a meeting with the relevant agencies.

Councillor Johnny Buckley highlighted the spate of burglaries in Portadown recently.

“It has concerned me since I became a councillor that every month there are more and more burglaries,” said Mr Buckley.

“Recently there were three different burglaries in the Portadown area and across the borough. All three of these residents were 70 plus years of age.

“It is a reflection of the times we are living in. They are deliberately targeting elderly people and striking fear into them.”

Sinn Fein Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley pointed to three burglaries in Lurgan’s William St during one weekend.

She said one business had so much stock taken they couldn’t continue to open.

Miss Seeley said, “The recent burglaries in William Street, have to be condemned. These business owners have worked to build up their businesses and employ local people. Yet they have been targeted, businesses attacked and stock stolen. It is unfortunate that burglaries continue to plight our borough and our businesses, our elderly and our most vulnerable are often the targets

“I welcome SF’s proposal for council to be more proactive on this issue and work closely with the PCSP and PSNI to identify ways that council can help prevent burglaries, and provide reassurance to our elderly residents.

“It is crucial that we have effective community policing so all our citizens can feel safe within their home and within the community.”

Ulster Unionist Arnold Hatch said he would raise the matter with the PCSP.

The DUP’s Carla Lockhart said, “Nothing is being done on the ground. There needs to be stern talking with the PSNI. Five hundred timers are not going to do a lot. The council should be doing something to stop the burglaries. We should be stepping up to the mark.”

Sinn Fein Cllr Gemma McKenna called for working party with the PSCP, the area police commander and the council’s director of development.

SDLP Cllr Joe Nelson said statistics show there is not a huge increase in burglaries. “Maybe they should look at how they are gathering their information.”

The DUP’s Darryn Causby said, “We are told consistently that burglaries are down yet on the ground the feeling is that burglaries are up.”