Police have stepped up patrols in Aghalee following a spate of burglaries in the area in recent weeks.
It’s understood there have been four reported break-ins at properties in and around the village in the past six weeks.
Ulster Unionist Councillor Alexander Redpath, who met with senior PSNI officers earlier this week to discuss residents’ concerns about the recent incidents, commented: “I was greatly saddened by the news of four burglaries in Aghalee in such a short space of time. Aghalee is a small community and these despicable crimes have a disproportionately large effect. I have raised the Aghalee burglaries with senior officers in the PSNI and called for specific proposals to combat this spate of crimes. I am pleased to welcome the assurance of increased rural anti-burglary patrols in the Aghalee area.”
The Killultagh representative continued: “At this time of year burglars are aware that families have new items in the house for Christmas that will be easy to pass on, so I would like to urge everyone in Lisburn to keep a close eye out for suspicious behaviour and report anything unusual to the PSNI. Please also take time to consider your domestic security. Take sensible precautions to make sure your house is secure and don’t leave any tools or ladders outside that could aid criminals.”
Commenting on the PSNI’s efforts to crack down on burglary across the Lisburn and Castlereagh area, Councillor Redpath added: “I welcome the overall figures in relation to burglaries in the district which show a reduction of 28 per cent in reported burglaries. I also welcome the increase in the figures for those charged with burglary and related offences. I would like to thank the PSNI for their hard work over the past year and I’m sure this sentiment is shared by the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh.”
Speaking after meeting with the UUP councillor at Lisburn Station, Chief Inspector Jonathan Wilson said: “One burglary is one burglary too many. We constantly review and monitor occurrences and where hotspots or spikes in criminal activity such as burglary are identified we react immediately.
“We have worked hard to reduce the number of burglaries in the Lisburn and Castlereagh areas and we continue to do so.
“We have increased patrolling in the Aghalee area recently following a number of burglaries and are also engaged in our Season’s Greetings operation in the run up to the festive period which targets our resources against burglaries and thefts.
“I would encourage members of the public to ensure their homes and cars are secure and that any suspicious activity is reported to police at the earliest opportunity.
“I would also like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.”