A SLIGHT increase in offences including public order in Cork city are indicative of a slow return to normality as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
That is according to Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin, who provided statistics of crime for the first eight months of this year in Cork city to members of the city’s Joint Policing Committee.
At a meeting of the committee, members heard that the number of public order offences has risen this year, from 676 in the first eight months of last year to 705 in the same period this year. This was an increase of 4%.
Crimes categorised as harassment, stalking and threats have risen this year from 11 to 20, while menacing phone calls have risen from 26 to 39.
Reports of sexual assaults have increased from 52 in the first eight months of last year to 65 in the same period this year – a jump of 25%.
In relation to assaults causing harm, there is just 1% of a difference in the number, with 136 in the first eight months of last year, compared with 134 in the same period this year.
Reports of rape have fallen by 6% from 31 to 29.
Driving under the influence of an intoxicant has increased by 6% from 175 to 186.
Chief Supt McPolin said that falls in crimes such as robbery from the person (down by 63% from 40 to 15) and aggravated burglary (from 15 to eight) are “reflective of the impact of Covid-19 over the last 18 months.” He said it “thwarted the endeavours of the criminals”.
But he said: “There is a slight increase in certain categories which is indicative of the reopening of society again.” He said there is now more action on the streets of the city and the “gap is closing” on statistics in some categories such as public order.
He added: “There is a certain amount of normality coming back to our streets again.”
Burglary crimes are down by 41% from 253 to 150, while shoplifting is down by 30% from 807 to 568. Thefts of bikes have fallen by 43% from 200 to 115, while the handling of stolen property has fallen from 24 to 13 (46%).