A SPIKE in reports of domestic violence in the Cork West Division for the first eight months of this year has been attributed, not only to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to the fact that a dedicated unit based in Dunmanway is giving people confidence in reporting incidents.
At a meeting of the Cork city and county joint policing committee (JPC) in County Hall this week, Chief Supt Con Cadogan said there has been an increase in domestic violence reports across all three garda divisions between January and August. There were 254 reports in the Cork West Division, a marked increase of 75 for the same period last year, while Cork City Division saw reports increase from 819 to 910 and Cork North Division saw numbers increase from 372 to 448.
Deputy Aindrias Moynihan described the increase in Cork West as ‘phenomenal’ but Chief Supt Cadogan pointed out that each of the three divisions now have a dedicated protective services unit to deal with these reports.
‘These units are now working quite professionally with communities and organisations and other support groups and I think people are quicker actually to come forward and report,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
He added that the ‘cabin fever’ associated with Covid-19 also contributed to the rise in figures.
His colleague Chief Supt Barry McPolin, who oversees the city division, said that there was a certain amount of stress and pent-up frustration in households during the early days of the Covid lockdown and a lot of home drinking may have been taking place.
Meanwhile, there has also been a marked increase in the numbers caught in the possession of drugs for sale or supply across all three divisions. There were 66 incidents reported in Cork West, compared to 35 for the same period last year.
Chief Supt Cadogan said that a lot of these detections were as a result of Covid-19 checkpoints and a high number were detected on public transport as dealers sought to transport drugs while travel restrictions were in place.
There was a marked decrease in the numbers of those caught in the possession of drugs and he put this down to the fact that there were no festivals in West Cork due to Covid-19.