Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

7% surge in calls to crime helpline

The number of calls to the National Crime Victims Helpline has increased

A national crime helpline has experienced a 7% surge in calls.

The number of people seeking help was up from 783 to 838 for the first three months of the year, with a noticeable increase in calls about burglary.

Maeve Ryan, co-ordinator of the National Crime Victims Helpline, said while the number related to break-ins was not large, the underlying trend reflected official figures showing a rise in burglaries.

"This is a crime which can have serious effects on the people affected," she said.

"One of the main effects we hear about is the fear people experience after a break-in, because once it has happened the fear is that it will happen again. There is also the loss suffered when cash, jewellery and other items are stolen.

"And there are many other issues such as repairs to damaged doors and windows, difficulties with insurance claims, the need to upgrade your security, and for many parents the worry about the impact of the crime on their children."

Ms Ryan urged anyone coping with the effects of a burglary, or any crime, to call the National Crime Victims Helpline on the free phone number 116 006. The number for texts is 085 1337711.

"We deal with and assist people every day who are experiencing emotional upset as a result of a crime," she added.

Official figures released by the Central Statistics Office at the end of March showed burglaries and fraud are both on the rise. Last year saw an almost 8% jump in the number of burglary and related cases reported to the gardai compared with the previous year.

Over the same period there was also a significant surge in investigations launched into fraud and deception, but apart from a very slight increase in thefts, there was a decrease in all other major categories of crime.

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