‘Worrying’ increase in sex offences and burglary in Mid and East Antrim


Sexual offences increased by nearly 10 per cent while non-domestic burglary is up almost 40 per cent in the past year, according to PSNI figures.

The findings are contained in recently-released police statistics for the Mid and East Antrim area, which compare the crime rate in the local area between April 2014-March 2015 and between April 2015-March 2016.

Gregg McKeen. INLT 21-396-PR

Gregg McKeen. INLT 21-396-PR

The figures show that while there were 174 recorded sexual offences between April 2014 and March 2015, this had increased by 9.8 per cent to 191 between April 2015 and March 2016.

Meanwhile, despite overall theft offences decreasing by 9.2 per cent from 1,908 to 1,733 in the same period, burglary overall increased by 18.6 per cent from 408 to 484. Domestic burglary increased by 7.3 per cent from 259 to 278 incidents, while non-domestic burglary increased by 38.3 per cent from 149 to 206 incidents.

Shoplifting fell by just over 10 per cent, with 476 recorded incidents in 2014/15, as opposed to 428 in 2015/16.

Drugs offences decreased overall by 1.1 per cent, from 268 in 2014/15 to 265 in 2015/16, with trafficking of drugs down by 4.6 per cent from 65 to 62 incidents and possession of drugs remaining static at 203 incidents.

Public order offences increased by more than 10 per cent to 90 incidents between April 2015 and March 2016.

Overall, recorded crime in Mid and East Antrim decreased by 2.3 per cent from, 5696 incidents to 5565.

A separate report presented by Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) gave an insight into local policing.

Compared with the 2014/15 financial year, the number of people killed on the borough’s roads between April 1 2015 and February 25 2016 remained static with four deaths.

Incidents of domestic violence increased from 1904 to 1965 over that period, while crime against older people decreased from 415 to 405.

In addition, there were seven fewer incidents of antisocial behaviour with 3,460 incidents.

Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) Chair Alderman Gregg McKeen described the increase in the number of sexual offences and burglaries in the borough as “worrying.”

The local PCSP is due to meet today (Thursday) to discuss how to spend its budget for the forthcoming year.

“Burglaries had been previously high, it’s one of the offences we focus on,” said Ald McKeen.

“Another one I am concerned about is the increase in sexual offences, we have to look at it.

“I hope that it is because people are reporting more and with the changes in the district set up policing has become more localised with more officers on the ground in Larne and Carrick.

“There have been various operations at different times on sexual crime, I would like to see something come in when things are trending in the negative where there would be a concern we need to concentrate on.”

Ald McKeen said that more work needed to be done to inform people on how to prevent burglaries.

“There’s a lot of education, people are not not being overly cautious,” he continued.

“Especially in summer, even if you are going out for ten minutes, make sure everything is locked and the windows are closed.

“The PCSP is keen to look at those areas that need to be addressed and examine a way to improve the safety and well being of the community,” he concluded.