While controversial Union flag protests have impacted on local policing resources, Limavady’s most senior PSNI officer says the area’s crime figures continue to drop for the fifth year on the trot.
Officers from G district, including Limavady, have been involved in policing Union flags protests and parades over the past year, with an overtime bill running into tens of thousands of pounds for officers but, Limavady Area Commander, Sam Donaldson says despite the challenges, police are continuing to meet all their targets.
“It’s fair to say this has been one of the busiest years in the PSNI’s existence,” Chief Inspector, Sam Donaldson told the ‘Journal’. “None of our officers say they have worked harder and longer hours than any other year because of things like the City of Culture, The World Police and Fire Games, G8, and everything else, but they have been absolutely motivated to keep going and get back to the day job and I want to commend my officers for the tremendous job they do.”
This time last year, police recorded 972 crimes, which is down this year with 129 fewer recorded crimes.
Burglaries are down by 20, from 77 to 50 this year, although “it’s 50 too many”, says Chief. Insp. Donaldson, who explained there was work going on targeting rural crime, and helping keep the most vulnerable, including elderly people, safe.
Violent crime in the Limavady area is still causing concern, up in the last year by 15.
Of the 328 violent crimes recorded this year 148 were with injury, and 180 without injury.
“It’s not acceptable,” said Chief. Insp. Donaldson, who said such crimes range from domestic assaults, fighting on the street to kids falling out.
Anti Social Behaviour figures are also down by 11 per cent on this time last year.
The Area Commander said while drug seizures are down slightly, he revealed operations targeting drugs related activity in the Limavady area have started.
While changes have been made to the Crime Team, which has enjoyed much success with significant drugs seizures, Mr. Donaldson expressed confidence such success would continue. Chief Insp. Donaldson said while Limavady has one of the highest PSNI clearest rates, “anything less that 100 per cent is not acceptable”.
“Police are working really hard locally and I commend them, and the community of Limavady for their support,” added Mr. Donaldson.