Rapes and sexual assaults on the rise in Cork City amid calls for tougher sanctions 

Reports of rape in the city went up from 44 in 2020 to 46 last year and sexual assaults from 90 to 111, senior garda says
Rapes and sexual assaults on the rise in Cork City amid calls for tougher sanctions 

The number of domestic abuse cases reported in North Cork went up by 14% and in West Cork by 9%, but were down by 1% in Cork City. File picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Members of the Cork City and County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) have called for tougher sentencing to crack down on sexual and physical assaults as well as drug crimes, which have increased in the region in the past year.

Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan told the JPC meeting that reports of rape in the city went up from 44 in 2020 to 46 last year and sexual assaults from 90 to 111. 

In North Cork, the number of rapes dropped from 28 to 20, but sexual assaults increased from 28 to 52. 

In West Cork, the number of reported rapes rose from 15 to 25 and sexual assaults increased from 37 to 41.

The senior garda said the number of domestic abuse cases reported in North Cork went up by 14% and in West Cork by 9%, but were down by 1% in Cork City. He did not provide the meeting with the actual number of cases, but added that several were historic.

Assaults causing harm rose in Cork City to 238 last year, up from 195 in 2020. In North Cork, they rose from 75 to 102, while minor assaults increased by 44 to 358. In the Cork West Division, assaults causing harm were marginally down, but minor assaults increased from 178 to 195.

Investigations into cases of supplying drugs in the city were marginally down, but those caught with drugs deemed for personal use went up from 1,082 to 1,282.

In North Cork, gardaí dealt with an increase in cases involving sale and supply which rose from 123 to 133, while personal use cases were marginally down. Both were also marginally down in West Cork.

Motorists caught under the influence of drink and/or drugs increased in the city area from 264 to 279, although they were slightly down elsewhere.

On a positive note, the number of fatal accidents fell from seven in 2020 to one last year in the city, were down from 10 to four in North Cork and from four to two in West Cork.

Courts not tough enough

Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy said he was concerned the courts were not tough enough on those convicted of serious physical or sexual assaults and they “needed to be put away”. He maintained perpetrators “should be [electronically] tagged on release and followed until they're deemed no longer a threat to society”. 

JPC chairman Cathal Rasmussen agreed some judges were too lenient.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor Michael Paul Murtagh said he had received complaints from a number of people who were finding it very difficult to get in phone contact with gardaí in Carrigaline and Togher.

Superintendent John Deasy agreed this could be frustrating for the public because gardaí could be very busy in these areas.

He said anyone unable to get through should contact Anglesea St Garda Station, where there are dedicated personnel on a 24/7 basis to take such calls.

He said longer opening hours for the public have been introduced at Carrigaline Garda Station.

Chief Supt Cadogan told Mr Rasmussen that three additional gardaí have just been drafted into Carrigtwohill to police its rapidly expanding population.

He added a civilian support worker is also likely to start there in April or May and such workers are to be drafted into a number of other Garda stations around the county around the same time.

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