City crime drops in first quarter, but assaults and drug possessions increase

Latest figures reveal rise in public order, assaults, drug offences and domestic incidents

Preliminary figures for Galway city show reported crimes dropped by more than a third in the first quarter of this year, though there were increases in a number of categories, most notably drug offences, public order, assault causing harm, and incidents of domestic violence.

The latest crime figures for the city were outlined this week by Chief Superintendent Tom Curley at a meeting of the city's joint policing committee. Overall, the three months from January to March saw a total of 1,245 crimes reported in the city, a decrease of 35 per cent on the same period last year.

However public order offences, serious assaults, and domestic incidents all rose during the first quarter of the year, with a total of 181 public order offences, representing an increase of 10 per cent compared to the first three months of 2015. Assaults causing harm rose by 14 per cent to a total of 14.

Drugs related offences also increased, with a total of 37 incidents of having drugs for sale or supply representing a nine per cent increase. Incidents of simple possession rose by five per cent to 58.

Gardai seized some €194,000 worth of drugs during the quarter, with ecstasy (€102,000 ) representing the bulk of seizures in monetary terms, followed by cannabis (€71,500 ), heroin (€11,300 ) and cocaine (€7,450 ).

Chief Supt Curley said the high figure for ecstasy was due to a small number of large seizures, including one of €20,000. He said heroin use in the city and county involved some 500 individuals, with more than 100 people being daily users of the drug.

Meanwhile there were 29 minor assaults, representing a decrease of 41 per cent.

Breaches of domestic barring, safety, and protective orders increasing by 20 per cent to a total of six incidents. Domestic incidents where gardai were alerted but no offence was disclosed rose by eight per cent to 26.

There were 49 burglaries recorded in the city during the first quarter, representing a decrease of 36 per cent on the same period last year. Thefts also saw a reduction; there were 124 recorded thefts from shops (down 15 per cent ), 23 thefts from vehicles (down 18 per cent ), and 49 other thefts (down 26 per cent ). There was a small rise in thefts from a person, up four per cent to 26 incidents, the majority of which involved the theft of mobile phones.

Drunk driving detections were up three per cent, with a total of 35 incidents recorded. During the period the Garda operated 209 mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints in the city, and carried out a total of 1,001 breath tests on motorists.

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