THE CORK West garda division saw a hike in domestic abuse reports for the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year.
The latest figures were outlined at last week’s Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) with the Cork West division seeing a 3% increase in reports. There was a 9% increase in reports in the Cork city division, while Cork North saw a 4% increase.
Chief Supt Vincent O’Sullivan of the Cork West and Cork North Divisions said the increases are of concern. ‘We again ask vulnerable people to report incidences to the gardaí,’ he said.
Rape and sexual assaults figures remained similar to previous years in Cork West.
There was also a marked increase in the number of reports of thefts from shops in the Cork West division, up from 16 last year to 25 for the same period this year, while theft of other property dropped from 22 to 18.
Chief Supt O’Sullivan said the biggest driver for the increase in crime at the moment is shoplifting and other thefts from retail outlets.
He attributed the rise to society opening up more after Covid and the fact that more people are out and about now as not all shops were opened last year. ‘We are heading back to pre-Covid levels with this crime,’ he noted.
Chief Supt O’Sullivan also said the rise of thefts from vehicles in the Cork West division from a low base to 11 was due to one single night in January of this year when eight thefts occurred when a crew travelled into an estate targeting unlocked cars.
He noted that the Cork West division reported only five burglaries for the year and said that this is probably due to the fact that gangs are not travelling further west at the moment.
Crimes against the person in the Cork West division were up from 67 to 71 for the same period last year, while property crime also rose from 64 in 2022 to 69 for the same period this year, which was also reflected in the other two divisions that saw property crime increase significantly.
Figures for assaults causing harm and minor assaults remained steady in the Cork West division, while criminal damage was up from 14 to 28, public order offences increased from 18 to 25 and drunkenness offences were also up, from 13 to 16.
He attributed these increases to the fact that more people are out and about socialising.
Figures for driving while intoxicated were down from 29 to 23 in Cork West, in stark contrast to the other two garda divisions which both reported increases.
The number of reports for possession of drugs for sale or supply was down from 13 to 11, while simple possession of drugs remained static.
No shame in being caught by online scams
FIGURES for fraud, which include online scams in the Cork West division, are down from 74 in 2022 to 36 for the same period this year.
Chief Supt O’Sullivan said this downward trend could be attributed to Covid and the fact that there aren’t as many people spending time online at home and being drawn into these scams.
‘This may also be due to the fact that not as many people are reporting these scams anymore, but I’d be advising people to report any form of fraud to the gardaí,’ he said.
‘There is no shame being caught out in these online scams. These are professional people carrying out these, using very advanced methodology and they are working off a script.’
They are, he said, being carried out by organised crime gangs which work on shift patterns and treat it as a business.
‘They will keep going until they find a weakness to try and get their hands on your money. Please report these crimes and don’t be embarrassed if you fall victim to them. We can all give anecdotal stories of scammers and some of the schemes are well thought-out and very clever.’
Cllr Karen Coakley (Ind) said that most people are probably too embarrassed to report it if they fall foul of an online scam.
‘I’m sure the figures for fraud in the Cork West division would be higher if more people were reporting. We need to encourage the public to report these crimes,’ she said.