Senior Garda Management in Cork County say they saw a significant increase in crime rates last year. New data released by the Force also showed the highest number of incidents of rape recorded since 2016, with an increase from 3 to 9 per month. There were 95 incidents of rape recorded last year, an increase of 18 on the previous year, while sexual assault not aggravated saw a decline from 239 reported incidents in 2017 to 209.
In a report made to the Cork County Council Joint Policing Committee on Monday 28 January, Garda Commissioners from all 3 policing divisions said property crime, theft from shops, theft from vehicles and drunkenness offences also saw a considerable increase last year. The Force recorded "6,470 incidents of property crime in 2018 compared to 6,048 the previous year". Theft from vehicles increased from 728 to 889, with the unauthorised taking of vehicles also up from 304 to 342. Incidents of burglaries saw a decrease from 994 to 875 when compared to 2017 figures. Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said he expects burglaries to decrease following a number of operations that targeted criminal gangs operating along the M8 (Dublin - Cork) and N20 (Limerick -Cork) roads.
The Senior Garda said he also expected theft of, and from, vehicles to reduce following the detention of two known gangs targeted under Operation Joyrider. The criminals from Cork City were operating in rural areas around the City and are due before the Courts. The Superintendent, however, urged property owners to make sure their vehicles are locked at night and that homes are made secure. He said if the public see anything suspicious they should report it to the Gardaí through the Community Alert System.
Minor assaults dropped from 1,433 to 1,327; assaults causing harm have seen a decrease from 455 to 377; Public Order offences are also down from 1,937 to 1,858; while drunkenness offences are up from 1,242 to 1,569.
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said a proactive approach by Gardaí has resulted in the increase of detections of public order and drunkenness offences, reflecting the reduction in minor assaults and assaults causing harm.
Arrests for drug driving also increased considerably last year. Tom Myers, Acting Chief Superintendent for the North Cork Division, said one in five drivers detained had either cocaine or cannabis in their system.
101 motorists arrested between 1 July and 31 December 2018 are due before the Courts for driving under the influence, 21 of which were caught drug driving. The Force recorded 1,327 minor assaults and 377 assaults causing harm in 2018, compared to 1,433 minor assaults and 455 assaults causing harm in the corresponding twelve month period. Theft from shops also saw a significant increase in the same period, from 2,095 to 2,375. Superintendent Con Cadogan said the Force is working with stores to help reduce the incidents.