THE number of burglaries in Lurgan have rocketed by a massive 52%, it has been revealed.
Cllr Mark Baxter, who sits on the Police Community Safety Partnership, said local Inspector Ken Annett informed him of the massive rise in burglaries.
The DUP councillor revealed the figures as he appealed for vigilance after an increase in burglaries in the Donaghcloney area.
“I have been inundated from residents lately about the increase in suspicious activity in and around the Donaghcloney area especially in the early hours,” said Cllr Baxter.
“At a recent monthly advice surgery in the village a resident told me of how he disturbed a couple of men who were at his shed in his back garden. Obviously this is a very worrying trend so I would appeal to everyone just to stay vigilant, not just in the rural villages, but right across the borough especially in the run up to Christmas.
“On the back of these developments I have spoken to PSNI who have told me that while overall crime is down, burglaries are up a massive 52% in the Lurgan area,” said the DUP Councillor.
Cllr Baxter said the figures are from April this year and is up 52% on the same period last year.
“This figure is shocking to say the least but if I can urge again for people not only to be alert but to take care when locking doors, windows and garden gates and contact the police without delay on 999 in emergency or on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI confirmed that statistics for burglaries in the Lurgan area since 1 April 2012 to 30 September 2012 have increased by 52% compared to the same period for the previous year.
“Overall crime in the area has decreased by 6%. However, PSNI take this large increase in burglaries in Lurgan extremely seriously.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Kenneth Annett said: “Police in Craigavon take any rise in burglaries extremely seriously and we understand the fear and vulnerability that burglary creates. We continually work to raise awareness of burglary and steps that the public can take to protect their own homes. Me and my officers are committed to tackle the issue of burglary and are determined to bring these levels down, as we have done in the same way with other crime in the area.
“A large number of the burglaries we deal with are opportunist where thieves have made the most of a window or door left open or a shed or property left insecure. While we conduct patrols, respond to reports of suspicious activity and deliver crime prevention, everyone can play their part in taking proper precautions with their home and property.
“We would advise all householders to review their security. If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house. Make sure your doors are strong enough for the job, and fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and make use of them, when you receive an unexpected knock at the door.”