THERE has been a threefold increase in the number of reported rapes in the city this year. Reports of rape are up from 13 cases, between January to November 2016, to 40 so far this year.
Reported sexual assaults also increased to 139 from 79 last year. The Director of Cork’s Sexual Violence Centre, Mary Crilly, said more women were comfortable reporting the crimes, which was partly down to improved garda services.
Speaking at last night’s Joint Policing Committee meeting at City Hall, Ms Crilly said: “The reality is one-in-five girls are raped in this country and just one-in-four are reported.”
Ms Crilly commended the fantastic work being done at the Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) in Cork which investigates these crimes.
The DPSU, which has been running in Cork since September 2016, is manned by one detective inspector, two detective sergeants and 10 officers.
“The DPSU has been brilliant,” she said.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said it would seem people are more comfortable reporting rape and sexual assault, some of which are of a historical nature.
He said: “I will be meeting with Mary Crilly to see why there is an increase in reports. We have no prescriptive reply yet. Each report is taken from A to Z in a very caring and compassionate manner.
“Each individual case is investigated and appropriate action is taken on the ground. These cases are not linked and each case is individual.”
Chief Supt McPolin also said that the increased reports of rape and sexual assault are reflected in other garda divisions across the country.
Ms Crilly also said people should not be told to not drink on a night out or to dress differently as this can be seen as putting the blame on them if anything was to happen to them.
“Christmas can be a fragile time, but there isn’t a big surge at holidays, it happens all the time.
“Women are being raped by people they know. In 80% of cases, the victim knew her attacker.”