In the midst of a wave of burglaries in north Cork since the start of 2017, new figures have shown that the city suburb of Blackpool was the worst hit part of the county last year.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that the Watercourse Road garda station, covering the wider Blackpool area, dealt with 62 complaints of burglary in the first nine months of last year.
Anglesea Street station handled 43 burglaries in the same period, while the Bridewell dealt had 42 burglaries. Also in the top ten were Blackrock (26), Douglas (24), Mayfield (24) and Gurranabraher (21).
Fermoy and Mitchelstown stations dealt with 23 and 18 respectively, while Midleton gardaí also dealt with 18 burglaries.
By comparison, the least amount of burglaries took place in rural areas, with no burglaries at all recorded by stations in Drinagh, Durrus, Kilbrittain, Terelton and Timoleague. All five stations are in the Cork West garda division.
Analysis of the figures from Cork’s 71 garda stations by the Evening Echo revealed that a further 15 stations had just one burglary each in the same period. Again, all were in rural areas and included Ballineen, Ballycotton, Baltimore, Castletownroche, Cloyne, Innishannon, Milford and Whitegate.
Director of the Support After Crime Services on Anglesea Street, Sally Hanlon, said the service had dealt with 1,264 victims of burglaries last year from Cork and other parts of Munster. Of those from the Cork area, many were from the suburbs of Cork city. But she said Midleton and Youghal also fared highly in the statistics.
She said: “Burglary is a form of invasion. For anyone who has not been a victim, burglary is just a word. But for someone who has been a victim, your home, your privacy and your security has been invaded. People have to live at the scene of the crime all the time and there is no way of getting away from it. People tell us they hate their home, and that they don’t want to go back in to their home.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Cork county policing committee is to ask senior gardaí for up-to-date figures on burglaries in his region amid fears they are spiralling out of control and that gardaí may not have the resources to combat them.
Cllr Frank O'Flynn, who is chairman of the Cork County Joint Policing Committee, said at its next meeting he wants gardaí to furnish him with as up-to-date figures as possible because he believes the number of burglaries has dramatically increased in recent weeks, particularly in the north-east area of the county.
Cllr O'Flynn said he was hearing from constituents about burglaries on a now regular basis.