NEW UCC regulations and increased cooperation with residents are being hailed as the main reasons for a quieter RAG week.
RAG Week drew to a close yesterday and the head of Community Policing, Sergeant Stewart Philpott, said that figures for public drinking and anti-social behaviour were well down on previous years.
“A lot of it does come down to the cooperation between everyone,” Sgt Philpott said.
Over the course of the week, there were 15 public order offences, 20 drug incidents, 20 house parties and 61 on-the-spot drinking fines, down from 170 last year.
Sgt Philpott said the gardaí also carried out 20 drug searches and 25 liquor licence inspections. Members of the district drugs unit also undertook searches throughout the week.
In terms of house parties, Sgt Philpott said there were one or two "fairly serious ones" and the gardaí were engaging with the college about them.
“We are aware that these houses would have come up before with different tenants,” Sgt Philpott said. “We are engaging with landlords in relation to that.”
Just 10 IDs were confiscated and handed back to the college over the entire week, which Sgt Philpott said was much lower than previous years where they would have seized 10 IDs in a night.
He said a lot of it is down to the college.
“There is a lot of talk in the college about the fact that you can be fined. Students don’t want to be hit in the pocket.
“So they are behaving and the general report is they were easier to deal with, they were more cooperative and when they were asked to do something they did it. Fingers crossed things do seem to be improving.”
Another big assistance throughout the week was the Student Community Support (SCS) who were out in their droves every night assisting people.
“There were 50 out every night. They were very visible. A lot of what they do is walk people home at night if they are drunk and knock on the door of a noisy house party and sometimes they have it dealt with before we are called. It worked very well.”
Chairperson of the Magazine Road residents association, Catherine Clancy, said the Community Gardaí and UCC Student Patrol (SCS) had been very effective for this year’s RAG week.
“There were one or two houses which were causing problems and their landlords were uncontactable,” she said. “Often when the landlord doesn’t engage it makes it difficult to sort out. When everyone works together it is usually easily solved.”
Ms Clancy said that the residents association had made a couple of complaints to UCC using the new formal complaint option which she said is very effective: “We have confidence in UCC to deal with the situation and follow through.”
For the first time ever there was also a street cleaner employed overnight to ensure the area was spick and span by morning.