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More drivers were under influence of drugs than drink

May 28th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The Cork West garda division saw 99 detections for drug driving in the first four months of this year, compared to 95 for drink driving. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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DRUG detections, including possession and possession for sale or supply, are up across all three Cork garda divisions, and drug driving has now surpassed drink driving detections.

At the recent online Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting, Chief Supt Con Cadogan of the Cork West Division said that there were 99 detections for drug driving in the first four months of this year, compared to 95 for drink driving.

‘Drug driving detections have now surpassed drink driving detection at this stage and this may be down to the fact our members are fully trained and able to test people for drugs using the mobile testing units,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.

The numbers for driving while intoxicated in the Cork West Division were down from 65 for the first four months of last year to 58 for this year, Chief Supt Cadogan said that 44 out of those were for drug driving.

He said that the Covid checkpoints also had a huge impact on crime over the past year and also the fact that more people were working from home during the lockdown.

‘We found that across all three divisions, quite a lot of calls were coming in from people who reported people acting strange or suspicious activity in their housing estates. This will be reflected later in the year with our figures for detected crimes.’

There was also a marked increase in the numbers detected for the possession of drugs for personal use, with 97 incidents this year compared to 55 for the same period last year, while possession of drugs for sale or supply was up from 30 to 32. This increase was also reflected across the other two Cork Divisions.

Reports for sexual assault in the Cork West Division were down from 11 in 2020, to eight for the first four months of this year, while there was a reduction of 8% in reports of domestic abuse, with Cork North recording the only increase out of the three divisions, with a 6% increase in reports.

Meanwhile, property crime, crimes against the person, burglary, theft from vehicle and theft from shops for the first four months of this year were down in the Cork West Division compared to the same period for last year.

However, there was an increase in theft of other property, with 51 incidents reported this year, compared to 43 for the same period last year.

Public order offences and drunkenness offences were also down, while criminal damage remained static.

The number of licensed premises inspected by gardaí also saw an increase, with 1,694 premises inspected in the first four months of this year, compared to 1,336 for the same period last year.

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