Wondering why you were in queues at PSNI checkpoints this morning?

Police checkpoints across the district
Police checkpoints across the district

Drivers have been sitting in queues of traffic over recent days as the PSNI significantly increases the number of vehicle check points.

Police have swamped parts of Craigavon, Lurgan, Portadown, Banbridge and across the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon zone in a bid to thwart burglars.

After a spate of burglaries across the district the PSNI said the public will be seeing a lot more of them in the run up to Christmas.

“If you see us, or are caught in a queue at a VCP, please be patient. Also consider when driving away from one, the person you ‘flash’ could be a travelling burglary team who you’ve just warned to turn off. THINK before you warn people of this type of police activity.

“Also be mindful of how best to secure your home. ALWAYS lock doors and windows, don’t leave valuables or car keys on show, and if you have an alarm- set it! Consider CCTV or alarm systems, both of which are very affordable these days.

“Finally, and most importantly, report ALL suspicious activity accurately and immediately. Don’t phone your mates to discuss- call 101! Or, if you think a break in is imminent or ongoing, call 999. It’s far better that we check out a suspicious vehicle and it turns out to be nothing than your neighbour getting broken into.

Meanwhile Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin has welcomed the initiative adding that “visible” policing was a key element in deterring criminals especially with the ongoing concerns on rural crime.

“In recent days a number of people locally have suffered break-ins and the theft of items from their homes.”

“This is obviously very concerning for home owners and it is very important that Police continue to respond and actively target those behind these break-ins and thefts in order to track them down and bring those responsible before the courts. I fully welcome this type of visual and proactive Police action in my constituency which aims to gather information and also provide a vital visual deterrent.”

He continued, “Rural crime is a scourge on our rural communities and with a concerning level of burglaries and thefts in the district, it does take a combined approach from both the PSNI and the public to beat the criminals. I would urge the public to continue to take measures to protect their homes and farms from theft such as ensuring vehicles are locked, sheds secured where possible, houses and garage doors are locked and valuables are stored out of sight.”

He stated: “I would also urge the Police to continue with their important anti-crime operations and increase their level of ‘visible’ Policing, as I strongly believe without a regular and visual Police presence in our district, criminals will get more confident they can evade capture. Criminals must get a firm message from the PSNI that their criminality won’t be tolerated.”