City crime figures down this year despite increase in some categories

Galway city saw a 22 per cent reduction in the number of reported crimes this year to date, with burglaries, thefts, and assaults all down considerably in the first 10 months of the year.

However the figures — released at a meeting of the city's Joint Policing Committee this week — saw an increase in a number of categories, notably drugs offences, domestic incidents, and reports of rape and sexual assault.

There were 191 reported burglaries in the city this year up to the end of October, down 51 per cent from the same period last year. Thefts from vehicles were down 14 per cent to 106, thefts from a person saw a drop of 44 per cent to 64, and thefts from shops were down nine per cent to 429. All other thefts, which did not fit into one of these categories, dropped 20 per cent to 199.

Incidents of assault causing harm in the first 10 months of 2016 totalled 46, a reduction of 37 per cent from the same period last year. The number of minor assaults reported was also down, at 157 this was some 13 per cent lower than in 2015.

However other crime categories saw an increase, with offences involving the possession of drugs for sale or supply up 16 per cent to 93 incidents. Of the drugs seized in the city to date this year, the majority were cannabis with a total value of €205,840. Ecstasy seizures were the second most common, with some €107,000 worth of the drug found in the city to date this year. A total of €25,400 worth of heroin was seized in the city, along with some €14,110 worth of cocaine.

Public order offences were also up slightly this year, with a total of 560 incidents up to the end of October representing an increase of five per cent. Just one of these incidents was racially motivated, compared to three incidents last year.

Sexual offences saw an increase, with a total of 23 reported sexual assaults representing an increase of 21 per cent compared to last year. There were 13 reported rapes to date this year, some 31 per cent more than the same period in 2015.

Domestic incidents also increased, with 46 reported breaches of barring, safety, or protection orders representing an increase of 31 per cent on last year. In 145 reported domestic incidents no offence was disclosed, representing an increase of seven per cent.

Chief Supt Curley commended the current media campaign urging people to report domestic violence, and he urged people to report any incidents to the Garda, even anonymously if necessary.

"Let us know and we can do a bit of monitoring and try to investigate," he said.

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