Burglaries, robberies and thefts all down in Londonderry but an overall increase in crime

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The number of reported burglaries, robberies and thefts in Londonderry and Strabane have decreased over the past year although there’s been a slight increase in crime overall.

Announcing the latest crime statistics, Local District Commander Superintendent Mark McEwan, said: “While overall crime in Derry City and Strabane was up by less than 1 per cent, I was pleased to note that Burglary, Robbery and Theft offences all saw significant decreases.

“The number of robberies fell by 17.8 per cent while overall burglary levels experienced a substantial reduction of 19 per cent.

“It is particularly heartening to see that the domestic burglary rate in our district fell significantly last year.

“Burglary had previously been an area of concern for us and we have worked hard on a number of prevention and detection initiatives across the District. I am pleased to say, these appear to have had the desired impact. The 13.7 per cent reduction in the statistics equates to 65 fewer family homes violated by thieves.

“Within the very slight increase in overall crime recorded in Derry City and Strabane last year, there are a number of positives I would like to highlight. The number of drug possessions recorded was up by 5.8 per cent, while the figures for possessing offensive weapons saw a rise of 51.7%.

“In reality what these numbers mean is that more people have been detected in possession of drugs and a greater number of dangerous weapons have been removed from our streets. Increases in these areas are to be welcomed.”

There were 55 more incidents reported in 2015/16 than during the previous financial year - a percentage rise of 0.6 per cent.

Across Northern Ireland reported crime rose by 1.8 per cent.

Superintendent McEwan said the containment of crime was all the more remarkable given the ongoing extraneous distraction by violent republicanism.

“In the past 12 months we have been working hard to tackle crime in our district against the backdrop of a severe threat from violent dissident republican groups. We have however been making significant inroads into disrupting paramilitary and terrorism related crime, making 47 arrests under the Terrorism Act last year. We have also seized four firearms and almost 130 rounds of ammunition.

“Community support has been critical in these successes.

“As we go forward, I would encourage people to continue to come to us with their concerns, to share information and to help us tackle the issues that matter most to them.

“Over the next 12 months we will continue to work hard to prevent harm, detect crime, protect the most vulnerable and keep people safe.”