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Rise in number of assaults linked to improving economy

Gardaí in Kerry have linked a 26% rise in assaults over the past year with an improvement in the economy.

Senior officers are concerned that fights are on the rise as people have more money to socialise.

"Oh, it's certainly true that when an economy is booming we can see certain spikes occurring in certain types of crime, and from time to time, that can be seen in assaults," said Garda Representative Association spokesperson John O’Keefe.

Some 27 gardaí have been injured on duty in the Kerry division since January 2017.

Garda O’Keefe says more gardaí need to be recruited.

"What we need are feet on the ground - what we need are community police," he said.

"These are the people who, at the very coalface if you will, will be able to get to the very heart of many of our problems, and indeed we see this as a kind of positive multiplier, because once these people have their feet on the ground, they can detect crime more easily, and more respect is gained from the local population as well."

- Digital desk