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City crime up as burglars targeted

PROPERTY crime in Dublin has increased despite successful garda operations against "prolific" burglars, city councillors have been told.

In the first two months of the year, overall offences involving property have gone up, Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Feehan said in a report.

However, "burglaries and robberies from the person have shown a decreasing trend for the last three months", he added.

The report was made available at the latest meeting of the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee (JPC).

Mr Feehan said that in February, in particular, gardai had several successful operations in identifying and bringing before the courts a number of "prolific burglars".

Councillors were also told that initiatives to target organised and armed crime are continuing.

"This continues to be a priority for An Garda Siochana right across the city," Mr Feehan told the JPC, which is a forum for councillors, gardai, TDs and businesses.

Mr Feehan said he has been rolling out the Garda Youth Case Management initiative within the Dublin metropolitan region. The project is "a co-ordinated and consistent management process which places one garda as a case manager for each individual young person who is charged and before the courts".

"The appointed garda is responsible for leading, co-ordinating and managing the young person's charges," Mr Feehan said. The main objective of the scheme is to help co-ordinate "appropriate interventions and services necessary to meet the needs of these children".

Mr Feehan said the aim is to "engineer" the offenders out of the criminal justice system.





Worst

"This has resulted in very significant reductions in recidivism among the initial group of offenders being managed," he said.

The recent falls in the numbers of burglaries and robberies follow a rapid increase in previous years. Many of the most populated parts of Dublin experienced significant increases in the figures -- of at least 20pc -- between 2008 and 2010.

The worst affected suburbs included Blanchardstown, where a 41pc rise was recorded with 1,040 individual robberies reported to gardai.

Gardai blamed several factors -- not least joblessness and the recession -- for a near 9pc overall rise in burglaries in 2009, compared with the previous year.

comurphy@herald.ie