As questions are asked about the future of An Garda Síochána, it is matters of policing that have dominated this morning’s meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee.
It has heard that while overall crime is dropping across the division, there are some areas that are of particular concern.
That includes the numbers of people using a mobile phone while driving, as Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports from Áras Chontae an Chláir:
One of the most concerning points raised at today’s JPC was the jump in the number of people using their mobile phone while driving.
Gardai have caught 610 people so far this year, while the 2016 figure was 540, marking a 13 percent rise.
Chief Superintendent Kerin noted that it continues to prove to be an issue, with texting at the wheel the biggest problem.
There has been a slight increase in the number of drink driving detections, while seatbelt offences have fallen.
Despite the worrying statistics for road offences, the number of fatal collisions in 2017 so far hasn’t changed from last year.
There has also been a jump in thefts in shops – up to 229 from last year’s figure of 202.
However, the number of burglaries overall has dropped from 175 to 160 in the past 12 months.
In all, 17,731 incidents have been recorded on the Garda Pulse system in the Clare division so far this year – while last year’s total was 26,097
And when it comes to resources, the number of Gardai in the division has risen by 9 since this time last year.