Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Residents step up campaign against persistent burglaries

Prompted by the marked increase in burglaries in the Camlough and Bessbrook areas, residents have stepped up their campaign against such crimes and have established a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

A public meeting held on Thursday last was overshadowed by news of two further break-ins – one in each village – which occurred that same evening.  In both incidents, the residents were at home and thwarted the intruders’ attempts.  This, however, has given rise to fears that would-be burglars are unconcerned at any attempts to obstruct their criminal activity and will seize any opportunity, regardless if properties are empty or occupied.

Groups of residents have been patrolling the areas nightly, hopeful that their visual presence will prevent opportunistic burglars from striking, while police patrols have also been increased.

Speaking after a recent public meeting, Sinn Fein councillor Roisin Mulgrew says the rise in burglaries and vehicle thefts in the locality is a very worrying trend.

“A recent spree of house break-ins have motivated local residents from Camlough and Bessbrook to come together and discuss how we can in appropriate fashion deter those engaged in these despicable crimes against our communities,” she said.

It was agreed that every evening at 6pm anyone who is available would meet at the Community House in Camlough before visiting local housing estates on the look out for suspicious activities and movements.

“We all need to be vigilant and our presence will not only deter the criminals but give a sense of confidence to residents,” she said, encouraging further community involvement in the scheme.

“I would once again appeal for all to be vigilant and any suspicious activities should immediately be reported to the Police. Those engaged in these dastardly activities should be apprehended and face the full rigours of the law.”