By Kieran O’Mahony
LATEST crime stats from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that there has been a marked increase in sexual offences in the Cork West Garda Division for the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period for last year.
The number of recorded sexual offences is 29, up 13 for the same period in 2018, according to the statistics.
Meanwhile, the number of other sexual offences – which includes child pornography offences, gross indecency – recorded for the first quarter of this year is 23 and is up 20 on the same period for 2018.
However, the number of rape and sexual assault offences is down – from 13 in 2018, to six for the same period this year.
The Cork West Garda Division is still awaiting confirmation for the location of a Divisional Protective Service Unit (DPSU) in the region which would be tasked with investigating sex crimes and domestic violence incidents.
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said that there are plans for DPSUs in all garda divisions by the end of this year.
Other notable stats show that there has been an increase in drug driving from seven incidents in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 15 for the same period this year, while drunk driving offences are down by seven for the same period last year.
The number of drug offences is also up, with the possession of drugs up from 51 for the first quarter in 2018 to 64 for the same period this year, while possession for sale or supply of drugs is also up.
Theft of vehicles is up from six to 15 offences, while fraud, deception and related offences are up from 11 in the first quarter of 2018, to 24 for the same period this year.
However, a CSO spokesperson said that these statistics are now being categorised as ‘under reservation’, which means that there are data quality issues in the underlying sources that An Garda Siochána used to compile these statistics.