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Vast increases in domestic incidents in Dundalk as Gardai outline ‘pro arrest’ policy

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New figures from Dundalk Garda Station show a drop in the number of assaults and threats to kill, as well as sexual offences, this year – but there have been substantial increases in the number of domestic incidents reported to Gardai in north Louth.

There has been a 34% increase in the number of domestic incidents in the Dundalk Garda District, while a 39% rise in the number of domestic incidents where Gardai have attended but no offence was disclosed.

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Combined, there were 869 in the year to the end of October – compared to 639 in 2019. “It is hugely important to use and society in general,” Acting Garda Superintendent at Dundalk Garda Station Liam Achibold said. “We have strong and robust policies in place to deal with these cases and investigate them. We have a pro-arrest policy.”

The statistics, as outlined by Inspector Achibold during last week’s Joint Policing Committee public forum, show small relative drops in the number of minor assaults (16%), assault causing harm (-21%) and threats to kill (-27%). Sexual offences decreased from 53 last year to 45 in the same period in 2020.

There was almost a 50% drop in burglaries in the Dundalk Garda District in 2020, compared to the previous year. There were 100 burglaries reported this year, down from 186 a year previous. There was also a considerable drop in the number of aggravated burglaries, down from 13 to four.

There were decreases in the number of thefts in the Dundalk district in 2020 – with thefts from shops, thefts from vehicles and other thefts down 22%, 25% and 32% respectively.

“These figures are impacted by Covid-19 and by restrictions imposed on society,” Inspector Archibold said.

To the start of November this year, there had been just one robbery from an establishment and two robberies from a person – whereas in the same period last year, there had been 10 robberies committed on establishments and 10 on a person.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, there was only a small drop in the number of public order offences reported to Gardai in Dundalk in 2020 – 250, down from 286 last year. Eight Anti Social Behaviour Orders were issued in north Louth this year.

In the first 10 months of 2020, there was an 25% drop in the number of people detained by Gardai under the Mental Health Act in the Dundalk district – decreasing from 97 to 74.

Due to Covid-19 public health regulations, An Garda Siochana launched a nationwide campaign called Operation Navigation which aims at ensuring widespread compliance by licensed premises. In light of this increased focus, Dundalk Gardai conducted 818 licensed premises checks to the end of October.

Operation Fanacht was also launched as Gardai took to major roads, as well as cities, towns and villages around the country to carry out checkpoints with the aim of ensuring all road users were making necessary journeys, as advised by government guidelines.

Gardai in Dundalk conducted 3,078 checkpoints in the district this year – a rise of 408%. There was also a 69% rise in the number of patrols – both on foot and in vehicle – carried out by officers.

88 persons have been found drunk driving in the Dundalk district to the end of October, up 26% year-on-year. 34 persons have bene detected drug driving.

Inspector Archibold outlined that this year Dundalk Gardai made 268 formal referrals to Tusla, the child and family agency, while they received 67 such notifications from Tulsa.

The Dundalk Garda District comprises of stations in Dundalk, Blackrock, Carlingford, Dromad, Hackballscross and Omeath.

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