It may simply be anecdotal and there may not be the official statistics to prove it, but there appears to be a significant rise in petty crime in the Athlone area in recent times.
The number of house break-ins, thefts and criminal damage incidents has mushroomed in the last few months - and
It doesn't take a sociologist to note the link between social deprivation and crime or to point out that where drug abuse is on the rise, there is an increase in petty crime.
We are in danger of producing a society riven apart, at odds with itself - where crime and petty violence is rampant and where community values are increasingly fragile.
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