Crime has increased in Fermanagh and Omagh over the past 12 months according to new data released by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) A total of 4,486 crimes were recorded in Fermanagh and Omagh by PSNI from February 2023 to January 2024, an increase of 90 crimes from February 2022 to January 2023 where 4,396 crimes were recorded.

There were 106,200 crimes recorded in Northern Ireland, a decrease of 4,048 (-3.7%) when compared with the previous 12 months.

All of the policing districts except Fermanagh and Omagh and Derry City and Strabane, showed a decrease in the number of crimes recorded.

Fermanagh had the largest percentage increase in crime with a two per cent rise recorded compared to a 0.2 per cent increase in Derry City and Strabane.

Describing the data as ‘shocking’, Erne East SDLP Councillor Garbhan McPhillips said: "In the space of a year to see an increase of 90 crimes is horrendous, not to mention the total number of crimes being over 4000.]Impartial Reporter: Councillor Garbhan McPhillips, SDLPCouncillor Garbhan McPhillips, SDLP (Image: John McVitty)

“When you see such a level of crime it really does make you think of what the back story of some of the people committing these crimes.”

He continued: “We are all living in very difficult times with the cost of living and other factors that are making life difficult, crimes of any description are just an added factor and stress for victims of these crimes and the people committing these crimes have no place in any of our communities.”

Ulster Unionist Councillor Diana Armstrong described the trend as ‘concerning’, she believes the trend could be linked to restraints on the operational activities of teams on the ground in Fermanagh and Omagh.

Impartial Reporter: Councillor Diana Armstrong, UUP Councillor Diana Armstrong, UUP (Image: John McVitty)

She said: “The closure of the Custody Suite in Enniskillen, and the current closure of the suite in Omagh PSNI station for refurbishment, means that anyone arrested in this district has to be taken by road to either Londonderry or Antrim PSNI station, accompanied by at least two officers - each instance removing operational resources for a period of at least six hours.

“This reduces the number of active officers on the ground with an obvious impact on the ability to respond to crime. Increased sickness leave and low morale in this district, are indicators of a service under stress.

Calling for more resources in the area from the PSNI she added: “The new Chief Constable Jon Boucher has very quickly recognised the heavy workload he faces. He now needs increased resourcing to address crime and recruitment to improve effectiveness and protect society. The UUP has called for the reinstatement of the Custody Suite in Enniskillen without further delay.”