Burglaries are ‘spiralling’ claim

Carla Lockhart with Superintendent Davy Moore.
Carla Lockhart with Superintendent Davy Moore.

Police have been told to ‘get a grip on the spiralling number of burglaries and attempted burglaries’ in Upper Bann.

The call came from DUP MLA Carla Lockhart following a weekend when there were another several break-ins and attempted break-ins in the Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge areas.

She pointed out: “Over the past number of months it appears to have spiralled out of control with daily reports of such.

“People are rightly concerned and this needs addressed by our policing authority so that people can feel safe and secure in their own home.”

Ms Lockhart added: “This has got to stop. We need police resources diverted to tackle this matter and we need it to happen urgently.

“There appears to have been an unprecedented spike recently with reports almost every day of break-ins or attempted break-ins right across the area.

“There is a real sense of fear out there and we need to see the policing authorities combat this.

“I would call on the PSNI to get a grip on this situation by deploying and diverting more resources to this task.

“We need our area to be no entry zone for burglars be they local or those involved in criminal gangs.

“I recognise the stretch on resources and the hard work they do put in but we need to rethink our policing model to deal with this plague on our society.”

Speaking on Monday she said: “I have today requested a further meeting with senior PSNI officials to discuss this and to demand more work is done to protect this area from such evil people.”

In one incident on Saturday three men stole a purse from an elderly householder.

Police said three men entered a house in the Russell Drive area of Lurgan between 2:30 and 2:45pm.

They stole a purse from the elderly householder before exiting through the rear door.

Superintendent David Moore said: “Burglary is a violation, for someone to enter a home or business and help themselves to possessions which people have worked hard to own, or to steal items cherished for their sentimental value, well, it is an evil and selfish crime.

“One burglary is one too many, and we will ensure that it will remain a priority for us, ensuring that we bring as much patrol cover and preventative effort as we possibly can. We fully recognise the distress caused to victims of burglary.

“Over the past year, our combined efforts have seen burglary fall by 6%, which is consistent with year-on-year reductions since 2000 when burglary rates in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area were three times higher than they are today.

“We would prefer no burglaries, and we will continue to work hard to tackle this issue.

“We work closely with our partner agencies, community representatives and members of the public

“Being a good neighbour is one of the best deterrents, as criminals and thieves can’t operate if they know their every move is being watched. As it only takes a few minutes to commit a burglary, the importance of promptly reporting all suspicious activity to the police is paramount.”