GARDAÍ are working with vintners to tackle assaults, drug use and abuse in entertainment venues throughout West Cork over the Christmas season and beyond.
With assaults on the up in Kinsale, Clonakilty and Bandon on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, gardaí and pub owners in the region held a meeting recently in Clonakilty to discuss the issue.
The meeting, which was organised by the division’s crime prevention officer Sgt James O’Donovan, was also at-tended by Clonakilty district Supt Ger O’Mahony, detective garda Colin O’Mahony of the drugs unit, as well as a number of other local gardaí.
The meeting was told of the need for continued constant vigilance when it comes to preventing and reducing the numbers of assaults in the area.
‘There is an upward trend in assaults in the last few years, not just in Clonakilty, Bandon, Skibbereen, or Bantry, but nationwide,’ Supt O’Mahony said.
‘What we want is for people to go out and enjoy them-selves and to get home safely. Assaults are up in West Cork and we want to work with the vintners to tackle the issues associated with these assaults, as well as drug use and abuse in nightclubs, pubs and hotels,’ he added.
‘There has long been a very good relationship between the vintners and the gardaí in West Cork and we want to ensure that this continues and that we enhance the efforts between us to combat assaults both inside the pub door and out on the street.’
Sgt James O’Donovan told the meeting that the latest figures for assaults in West Cork showed an upward trend concentrated around the main towns of Kinsale, Clonakilty and Bandon.
‘The vintners don’t need us to tell them that it’s Saturday night and early Sunday morning when most of the assaults take place,’ said Sgt O’Donovan.
‘There is a high level of repeat offender, and random assaults which point to the perpetrators using high levels of alcohol and other substances, which in turn lead to them having no control over their actions.’
Vintners and gardaí are committed to doubling their efforts to reduce assaults.
‘By working together, we can tackle this,’ Supt O’Mahony said.
‘Put in the early call if you see something happening on your premises. Let us know, let other vintners know if you have a problem with someone or a group. By working to-gether, we are a lot stronger and a lot more effective.’