THE number of reported rapes and sexual assaults in the city has increased significantly in the last year.
In the first five months of last year, gardaí opened investigations into six reports of rape and 24 reports of sexual assault, but this has risen to 16 rapes and 69 sexual assaults for the same period in 2017.
Cork’s top cop Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said this jump was likely to be linked to the focused efforts of the Cork force to address the issue.
“We have a renewed effort to tackle this issue and this has led to increased confidence in reporting such incidents.” Since last September a pilot Protective Services Unit (PSU) has been running from Anglesea Street, which has focused on the investigation of specialised crime including sexual crime, human trafficking, child abuse and domestic abuse.
The unit also focused on the provision of support for vulnerable victims of crime, including enhanced collaboration with the Child and Family Agency to safeguard children.
The unit initially started with one detective and five gardaí, but since the June 2nd, those numbers have doubled.
There is now 13 personnel attached to the unit. An Inspector, two Detective Sergeants and 10 detective Gardaí.
Chief Supt McPolin said the increased confidence in the force, now that a focused unit is available is a good thing.
“We have always had strong ties with the Rape Crisis Centre and this just shows that the community has confidence in the PSU and the focused initiative is resulting in more people reporting crimes of this nature.”