COMPLIMENTED GARDAí ON DRUG DETECTIONS Fianna Fáil councillor, Damien Ryan.
Crime figures rise as restrictions end
Crime figures in Mayo have risen in the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
The easing and eventual scrapping of Covid-19 restrictions has been cited as a major factor in the rise in crime by a garda chief in the county.
Detective Superintendent Joe McKenna, responsible for Major Crime in the Mayo, Roscommon and Longford Garda Division, said the trend is very apparent.
“We’re seeing a noticeable increase and that is largely because of the removal of the Covid restrictions and the increase in more social activity,” he said.
The detective superintendent went on to detail rates in the various categories of crime.
For January and February of 2022, cases of assault causing harm had risen from seven in the same period in 2021 to ten. Common assaults had risen from 31 to 45.
Cases of sexual assault have risen from five to 13.
Cases of rape were down, from two to one, he said.
Robberies were up from zero to two. Both took place in Castlebar and a defendant is before the courts, Det Supt McKenna told the meeting.
Burglaries across the county more than doubled from 14 to 30.
Theft from cars reduced from nine to four but theft from shops were up from 22 to 36, while ‘ordinary’ theft was up from 22 to 31.
Criminal damage showed a slight decrease, from 43 to 40, but public order cases have more than doubled, from 30 to 61.
Cases of people being drunk in a public place were up from 19 to 28.
“You can see the number of offences because of Covid in the last two years, you couldn’t really trust the figures.
“You can see how the numbers are increasing, particularly in respect of social activities, in respect of assaults, sexual offences, thefts from shops, public order and drunkenness.
“I have to say a significant number of those burglaries have been detected,” DS McKenna added.
Outlining overall figures since the establishment of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Unit in 2019, DS McKenna said it has seized a total of €2,196,109.68 of drugs in the two-year period since and an additional €136,800 in cash was seized.
The unit has detected 23 cases of cultivation. The number of people detected for sale and supply offences was 152 while the number of people detected for the possession of drugs was 467.
Gardaí performed over 1,600 drugs searches in that time period. “That’s a huge amount,” he said.
Cllr Damien Ryan (FF), who has repeatedly asked for more resources to be pumped into tacking drugs, praised the Gardaí for their work in the detection of drugs in the county.
“At the outset of this JPC term, we made tackling drugs our priority. The stats are ever increasing and that’s down to increased detection and the proactive work going on and the surveillance. It is disrupting the supply of drugs in Mayo, and I cannot compliment the gardaí enough,” he said.