POLICE are to increase patrols in and around the Castlederg area in response to a number of recent burglaries and attempted burglaries.
The commitment was given to Derg SDLP councillor, Steven Edwards, who met with officers in the wake of recent incidents.
Councillor Edwards says he is extremely concerned that local homes are being targeted by thieves and has urged vigilance in the local community.
Speaking after the meeting, he commented: "I met with the PSNI regarding the rising number of burglaries in the wider Castlederg area, which is concerning for all local residents.
“Given the concerns raised, the police will be upping their patrols in the local area while I’ll also be setting up meetings in the coming weeks with the crime prevention officer and local residents on how best to protect their homes from these low life criminals.
“I’m well aware from residents that a few years ago there was a cross-border criminal element targeting Castlederg with a number of homes unfortunately burgled.
"Thankfully that has stopped over the pandemic but it’s important it stays that way with increased police presence in addition to residents doing all they can to protect their homes."
The local councillor says the recent criminal activity shows the need for a permanent policing facility in the border town.
“This also call into question the need for a more permanent policing facility in the Castlederg area given that currently there isn’t any," councillor Edwards continued.
"I do believe the current dilapidated station needs to be transferred into community use and the need for a welcoming, fit for purpose and modern station looked at.
“I’ve also raised this issue, the current abandoned police station and the need for a more permanent presence in the town with the Chief Constable too.”
Last year it was confirmed that the town's vacant police station will be put back on the market for sale.
The station, located on Castlefin Road, closed in 2013 and was then put up for sale.
The disposal of the station, alongside two other border stations in Aughnacloy and Warrenpoint, was subsequently halted in 2018 due to uncertainty presented by Brexit.
In September police said that due to the "changing circumstances" of the UK's exit from the EU, the sale of the station, along with the bases in Aughnacloy and Warrenpoint, can now proceed.
It's hoped that the site will be used for the economic and social regeneration of the area.