REPORTS of rape have surged by 46% in Cork city, according to the latest available figures from Gardaí at Anglesea Street.
Sixty cases of rape were reported in 2018, which was a jump of 19 extra reports from 2017.
Chief superintendent Barry McPolin said the increase is partly explained by historical cases and the establishment of a Protective Services Unit at Anglesea Street — which specialises in sexual crime cases — and this has led to more victims coming forward.
“2016 figures were the highest recorded for Cork city and they reduced in 2017.
“They are up again but some of those would be historic in nature and we also have a Protective Services Unit, which is a division of people that are highly trained in the investigation of sexual crime,” he said.
“That is giving the victims of sexual crime increased confidence in coming forward and speaking to the gardaí,” said Chief Supt McPolin.
“All these incidents are thoroughly investigated,” he added.
Meanwhile, threats of murder recorded by gardaí spiked by 250% in Cork city last year, with 35 reports being investigated compared to just 10 in 2017.
Superintendent McPolin said that such threats are subject to a strict criteria of categorisation when reported, and a number of factors are taken into account to establish the seriousness of the threat.
This may lead to the number being reduced as some instances are not pursued, he added.
Possession of offensive weapons in the city increased by 9% with 121 such incidents reported, while three incidents of possession of a firearm were investigated.
Superintendent McPolin said: “Anybody who goes out in a public place and has a weapon of offence, such as a knife, or any other piece of weaponry, is a matter of concern for us.
“We are actively conscious of it,” he added.