Burglaries ‘a major challenge’ says police chief

BURGLARIES – domestic and non domestic – continue to be a “major challenge” for police in the Magherafelt district.

PSNI Area Commander Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson said there has also been an increase in thefts although shoplifting figure are down.

Speaking at this week’s meeting of the local District Policing Partnership, Mr Donaldson said there were a number of domestic burglaries on both sides of the Moneymore Road area of Magherafelt.

But the vast majority have been in rural areas, particularly close to Toome, on the main road from Portglenone to Kilrea and on either side of the A6 in the Maghera area.

“Officers continue to target vulnerable areas via Operation Razerback on a daily basis. We have formed an Operational Policing team of three constables to take the lead in burglary/theft prevention, and two additional trainee detectives have been allocated to CID.”

He admitted that they had caught nobody for the burglaries but high visibility patrolling in the Moneymore Road area may have acted as a deterent.

Continuing, the chief inspector said the total number of anti social behaviour incidents for the year to date amounted to 914.

“I am pleased to report that following good planning, community engagement, the allocation of additional officers to tackle anti-social behaviour in the last week of October and a determination to tackle repeat offenders, the Halloween period has been the quietest for many years, particularly the Draperstown area, where we have had issues in the recent past.”

The chief inspector claimed that Magherafelt is one of the safest places to live in Northern Ireland with regard to crime.