Gardaí are planning to mount targeted high-visibility evening foot and bike patrols in Cork city centre to enhance public safety.
They have also increased the number of inspections of licensed premises in the city as part of a nationwide assault reduction strategy.
Details of the new policing measures were announced by Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin during a meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) yesterday, which heard that, despite a recent spike in serious violent crime, there was a 13% fall in reported assaults in the Cork city garda division during the Christmas period compared to the same period last year.
JPC members were told that, during a special operation called Open City, the number of reported assaults in the division between December 15 2019, and January 6, 2020, dropped eight, from 62 to 54, compared to the same period last year,
A breakdown shows the number of reported minor assaults dropped from 18 to 12, while the number of reported assaults causing harm dropped from 44 to 42.
Chief Supt McPolin said that, since January, 12 gardaí have been allocated to the division — eight probationer gardaí and four gardaí who have been transferred.
“These additional gardaí will be allocated straight into frontline policing,” said Chief Supt McPolin.
And, pending the allocation of new gardaí expected this month, he said he hopes to deploy the additional resources to continue on from the success of operation Open City.
“We will have a high visibility presence who will be working on foot patrol and mountain bike patrol during the evenings when we are seeing a spike in our assaults, public order, and robbery incidents,” he said.
The JPC also discussed the surge in violent crime in the city in recent weeks.
Chief Supt McPolin insisted that the city’s streets are safe, and said that while each of these recent incidents is very serious, and some involved “unprecedented levels of violence”, none are linked and were an unfortunate spike in violent crime.
Paying tribute to detectives working in the serious crime investigation unit under Det Supt Michael Comyns, he said significant progress has been made in all the serious cases.
A woman has been charged with murder following the death last July of toddler Santina Cawley; two people have been charged arising out of the murder probe into the death of Paul Jones on Bandon Rd last September; a file is being prepared for the DPP after two people were arrested following the beating to death of homeless man Timmy Hourihane last October; a man has been arrested and a file is being prepared for the DPP following the death last October of James Duncan following an assault a month earlier on St Patrick’s St; gardaí investigating the murder of homeless man Frankie Dunne last December have travelled to Romania to take one of numerous statements, and the investigation is progressing well; and a juvenile has been charged with murder following the fatal stabbing of Cameron Blair last month.