SENIOR Gardai in Cork have issued a stern warning against drunk and disorderly behaviour ahead of the Christmas party season.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin noted that members of An Garda Siochana will be 'out in force' over the Christmas period, monitoring potential drink driving incidents and other public order offences.
So far this year, there has been a decline in the number of drunk driving incidents in Cork city. Between January and October 2018, 254 incidents relating to driving under the influence were recorded, a 12% decrease from the same period last year.
Over the same period, there has been a 29% increase in public order offences related to drunkenness, with 825 recorded between January and October.
Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council, also noted a 'steep increase' in the number of fines issued. She said it is 'consistent with more rigorous policy of prosecution.'
Some 49 fines were issued in October, up from just seven in September.
Addressing the JPC meeting, Chief Supt McPolin said that Gardai will be 'out in force' over the Christmas period.
He said there will be a particular focus on cracking down on drunk driving.
"The message has to get out there: if you are out over Christmas, leave the car at home," he said.
"There will be a substantial increase in the number of checkpoints over the Christmas period.
"And that goes for drug driving, also. We now have trained members of the Gardai, who will be out there across the city on the lookout."