Sexual assault, assaults and drug driving on the rise in Cork

Sexual assault, assaults and drug driving on the rise in Cork

Incidents of sexual assault, assault and drug driving have risen in Cork, according to the latest figures from An Garda Siochana.

More than 50 people were caught driving under the influence of drugs in Cork so far this year compared to just 21 for the same period in 2018.

Chief Superintendent Thomas Myers explained that this was mainly due to increased training of gardaí in this area and increased equipment, which can detect cocaine, cannabis, heroin and benzodiazepines.

He said that with more training and the procurement of more specialised equipment, this figure is expected to rise in the future.

Meanwhile, there were 73 reports of sexual assault within the first four months of 2019, compared to 62 in the same time last year.

Chief Supt. Myers described this as a positive result as it means more people are coming forward and reporting these incidents.

Speaking at a Joint Policing Committee in Cork County Hall on Monday, he said that many of the cases involved historical incidents of sexual abuse.

He added that some were very complex investigations that included several victims.

There were 28 reports of rape so far this year, compared to 29 in the first four months of last year.

Chief Supt. Myers encouraged victims to come forward and report these types of incidents, saying the supports are there to help them.

“It’s disappointing that these incidents are alleged to have happened in the first place but we would encourage victims to come forward,” he said.

Chief Supt Myers also revealed that while alleged incidents of assault causing harm and minor assaults are on the rise, gardaí are encountering difficulties in getting cases to court.

The number of minor assaults reported to the gardaí rose from 402 between January and April 2018 to 462 in the same period this year.

Assaults causing harm also saw an increase from 103 last year to 139 so far this year.

Chief Supt Myers described these increases as “massive” and added that this was a big issue across the county.

“In some cases, the injured party, for whatever reason, withdraws the complaint.

“That’s a big issue,” he added.

Areas of crime that also witnessed an increase include vehicle theft, theft from vehicles, thefr of property such as mobile phones etc, and criminal damage.

Incidents of criminal damage rose from 532 in the first four months of 2018 to 643 this year.

Arson incidents also rose in the same period from 26 to 42 with most involving burnt out cars in the city area.

Meanwhile, the number of incidents where people were caught driving under the influence of alcohol actually fell from 248 last year to 233 this year.

There were also fewer fatalities on the road so far this year (2) compared to the same period in 2018 (6).

However, traffic collisions that resulted in serious injuries rose by three incidents so far this year.

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