More than eight out of 10 perpetrators of assault are male — while men also make up three quarters of all victims of assault.

The figures come as gardaí launch a campaign to reduce the number of assaults on Irish streets.

The Garda Analysis Service data reveals that 83% of offenders in assault cases are male, with the majority of offenders are aged between 18 and 39 years old.

These assaults typically take place in and around public places (street, roads, pubs, and hotels) between 8pm and 5am at the weekend.

Around one quarter of assault incidents linked to the nighttime economy involved intoxication of either the suspect offender, the victim, or both.

Seven out of every 10 assaults involve men attacking other men, while three-quarters of all assault victims are also male.

Perpetrators of assaults tend not to repeat the crime and there is a very low level of repeat victimisation.

According to gardaí, analysis has also shown that the level of assaults is typically associated with the vibrancy of the nighttime economy which has shown signs of recovery following the recession.

For example, in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, the number of assaults causing harm rose from 1,396 in 2012 to 1,707 in 2015, while minor assaults increased from 3,100 to 3,337 in the same period.

Assaults nationally have fallen this year, with minor assaults down 2% and assaults causing harm down 4%.

Describing the effect a serious assault had on his life, one 26-year-old male described his life as a “living hell” in a victim impact statement to gardaí.

“Before the assault I was a happy-go-lucky guy, but since then I would describe my life as hell,” he said.

“Along with the terrible injuries that kept me in hospital for a long time, I have suffered from depression and paranoia and I still feel angry a lot of the time.”

Another man, aged 29 years old, told gardaí he felt more anxious when out socialising.

“Since the incident I think about the vulnerability of myself, my girlfriend and my family when out socialising or going about daily life. In the weeks that followed the incident I experienced disturbed sleep and anxiety,” he said.

Sgt Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement urged young men to think about the impact of their actions and advised people to be streetwise when they are socialising.

“Don’t be that guy. Use your brain, not your fists. Never attempt to reason with drunk or aggressive people. Walk away and look for help,” he said.

Gardaí have implemented its multi-strand anti-crime strategy and have implemented a range of actions to help reduce assaults.

Assault hotspots have been identified and since early August there has been a high visibility policing presence in these areas at key times.

Gardaí are also working with pubs, the business community and local councils to address issues around antisocial behaviour.


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