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Concern over accuracy of Crime figures in Limerick

22 November, 2006

Limerick Sinn Fein general election candidate Maurice Quinlivan said: "I am very concerned that crime figures just released to me are not reflecting the reality of the situation in parts of Limerick.   The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when questioned by Deputy Aengus O'Snodaigh
TD on my behalf revealed that "there have been four incidents involving a petrol bomb in the Limerick Garda Division to date in 2006".  Whilst the Minister also says the figures are provisional, operational and liable to change they seem extremely low and wildly inaccurate when you stop and reflect on some of the incidents that have taken place in Limerick throughout the year. During the weekend of 8th- 11th of September alone we saw a minimum of 20 petrol bombs thrown at the Gardai in one small housing estate. Petrol bombs were thrown on Friday the 8th September in a co-ordinated attack against the Gardai. I was a witness to events on Saturday the 9th September when Gardai were once again attacked with petrol bombs. That weekend culminated in the horrific attack on Sunday afternoon against young Gavin and Millie Murray. The figures supplied by the Tánaiste unfortunately could in no way be reflective of the reality on the ground. I have recently been given a log that a local resident in the Delmege Park area has kept and the amount of incidents contained in it are simply mind boggling. It is almost impossible to conceive that all this activity has
taken place in such a small area."

Quinlivan stressed the importance of correct crime figures being kept: "It has got to be of concern to us all of to ensure that proper crime figures are correctly collated here in Limerick. However what is possibly more worrying is that local people are failing to report incidents in their area and the reasons for this must be explored. I am personally very concerned that some people now feel that there is no point in reporting even serious crime. I would urge all people who witness crime to report it to the Garda and urge the Gardai here in the city to re-examine their approach to the collection of crime figures. I am concerned that the much needed resources necessary to effectively tackle criminality here in Limerick won't be provided if they are basing their calculations on inaccurate figures. Whilst I in no way want to over hype the situation or level of crime here in Limerick the crime figures and statistics will be of no use unless people are convinced of their accuracy. More Garda resources are needed here in Limerick as we have also just emerged from a very difficult weekend when even a Garda source is quoted as saying "It was never as bad as this."

Note to editor:
Dáil Question submitted to cover period From 01 Jan to 31st Oct 2006
Residents Log is from 08 Sep 2006 - 19 Nov 2006
  Explanatory note:
(1) Reply to Dáil questions reveals "four incidents involving a petrol bomb in the Limerick Garda Division to date". This seems inordinately low.
(2) See attached a local resident's diary/log showing scale of problem in one small part of Limerick. The log gives a feel for the level of criminality some are enduring.

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