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Majority of minor assaults in Drogheda perpetrated against women, stats show

Drogheda Garda Station
Drogheda Garda Station. Photo Credit: Barry Landy/LouthNow.ie.

86 women have been the victim of what Gardai classify as a ‘minor assault’ in the Drogheda district so far this year, according to new figures furnished by local Gardai in the town.

Of 161 minor assaults reported to Gardai in 2020, Drogheda Superintendent Andrew Watters has confirmed that 85 of those injured parties were female. He answered in response to a query from Labour councillor Michelle Hall on the gender breakdown of such reports.

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The statistics were revealed during the annual public forum of the Drogheda Joint Policing Committee held this month, with Gardai, elected representatives, members of voluntary bodies in the county and members of the public in attendance.

Despite a small drop in number of assaults causing serious harm in Drogheda (down seven year-on-year), there was a 70% increase in minor assaults. That number shot up to 161 this year, up from 91.

In the ongoing battle against drug related activity in the town, Gardai made 93 arrests for sale or supply or supply of drugs under Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act this year – up 37% on the 68 arrests made in 2020. Officers detected 183 instances of possession of drugs for personal use this year, a small increase on 2019.

That followed a total of 975 searches carried out under the Misuse of Drugs Act this year. Gardai in the Drogheda district have also undertaken 6,505 active patrols – including in vehicle and on foot – and conducted 1,287 checkpoints, many of which were Covid-19 related.

Gardai in Drogheda have detected 62 road users driving while intoxicated, which is up 15 on the previous year’s figure of 47. That is despite licensed premises being shut to the public for the majority of the year due to government restrictions relating to Covid-19.

The number of serious injury RTA’s has halved this year, down to just four. There have been no fatal road traffic incidents in the Drogheda Garda district in 2020, mirroring the previous year.

The figures, as presented by Supt Watters, also showed marginal increases in the number of reports of criminal damage (up 9%) and decreases in public order offences (-11%).

There have been sizeable decreases in the numbers of reported instances of thefts and robberies in the Drogheda district in the 10 months to the start of November, compared to the same period last year.

Restrictions of movement brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures have meant there have been a marked drop in the numbers of robbery from premises – down to just 3 this year, from 25 last year. Robbery from a person has seen a 33% drop – from 15 in 2019 to 10 this year.

“Some of our figures are dictated by Covid-19, restrictions and movement,” Supt Watters said.

There were 10 fewer thefts of vehicles year-on-year (18 down to 8) while Gardai in Drogheda report a decrease in the number of thefts from a vehicle of 58%. That figure was 120 to November 2019, but stands at just 50 this year.

There was a 45% drop in the number of thefts committed on a person (20 down to 11) while burglary remained largely unchanged year-on-year, going from 130 in 2019 to 123 in 2020.

In the Clogherhead district, there was a marked increase in the numbers of burglaries in the seaside village and its surrounds in 2020. That figure rose from just four in the first 10 months of 2019 to 15 in the same period this year.

Gardai in Clogherhead also carried out 20 searches under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making seven arrests. That is compared to just two in the previous year.

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