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Chief Superintendent Sean Colleran said that there have been dramatic increases in some categories of crime in the early part of 2022 compared to 2021.

Spike in assaults in Clare with post-Covid reopening

THE reopening of the night-time economy has seen an increase in public order offences, according to Clare’s most senior Garda.

Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran outlined, at the most recent Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting, a sharp rise in public order offences and minor assaults.

The figures relate to the months from last November to January. When compared to the same period in 2020/21, they show an increase of 54% in minor assaults, with public order offences up 27%. 

“In terms of public order offences, for the three months up until the end of January 2021, there was 37,” the Chief told JPC members.

“That has increased 27% up to 47, you’ll appreciate, as the night-time economy has opened. Those figures come with the opening up of society in general. The figures for the previous period were quite low, when compared to previous years.”

By comparison, the number of assaults causing harm was less than ten and showed no change on the figures for 2020/21.

“Thankfully, the numbers are quite small,” Chief Superintendent Colleran said.

“When it’s less than ten, we don’t go into the exact figure as we don’t to associate incidents with individual people and we don’t want to be talking about individual cases.”

The Chief said that while the rate of minor assaults had jumped, there is a high detection rate and that the force is very aware of the issue.

“There’s been quite an increase from 39 up to 60, which represents an increase of 54%” he said.

“Again, that’s in line with the opening up of the economy in terms of public order offences, but also we have seen an increase in assaults where the parties know each other.

“One issue about that high figure is that there is quite a high detection rate in terms of minor assaults. That’s the positive aspect of it, but certainly this is something we’re fully aware of.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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