Crime figures for the last eight months have shown sharp decreases in many types of crime, but also highlight a rise in domestic violence, dog thefts, possession of drugs, and theft of bicycles.
Data for Cork City, Cork North, and Cork West, encompassing the entire Cork region, were revealed yesterday at the first Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting to be held this year.
Presenting the figures for January to August 2020, West Cork Superintendent Con Cadogan said that property crime and crimes against the person were down across the three regions, although, specifically, bike theft was up across the city and county.
In the city, there were 201 reported incidents of bike theft, up 39 cases from 2019.
In West Cork, cases were up at least three to 13 and in North Cork the figure rose from 24 to 28.
While all forms of assault, including minor assault and assault causing harm, have dipped, Supt Cadogan said that domestic violence has increased across the three districts, with an increase of 91 incidents in the city for the first eight months of the year, from 819 incidents in 2019 to 910 incidents.
In Cork North, investigations rose from 372 in 2019 to 448 in 2020, and in West Cork there was a sharp rise from 179 in 2019 to 254 in 2020.
Supt Cadogan said that it had to be taken into account that each district now had a dedicated unit to deal with this specific type of crime and also the Covid lockdown may have increased stress levels in the home.
“You must also take into account each of the three units have now set up protective services units and they are working quite professionally with communities and organisations and other support groups and I think people are quicker to come forward and report,” said Supt Cadogan.
Addressing the issue, Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said there was a certain amount of stress and pent-up feelings early on in the Covid lockdown that could have played a factor in this sharp rise.
Both possession of drugs for sale and supply as well as drugs for personal use were up across the three districts, with drugs for personal use soaring in the city from 586 in 2019 to 779 in 2020.
Dog theft also increased in the city and county.
“It hasn’t stopped, it hasn’t gone away. What we would be encouraging would be for people to buy off reputable breeders and ask for papers.”