Over 1,000 public order offences in city last year

Kilkenny Garda Station was the sixth-busiest in the country last year when it came to public order offences, and the ninth-busiest in relation to assaults, harassments and threats or attempts to murder.

Kilkenny Garda Station was the sixth-busiest in the country last year when it came to public order offences, and the ninth-busiest in relation to assaults, harassments and threats or attempts to murder.

The CSO’s latest garda statistics show more than 1,000 public order and social code offences were recorded by the city station in 2011. This is a worse record than Tallaght and Waterford, both of which surpassed Kilkenny in every other crime category.

For attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related crimes, Kilkenny recorded 218 offences – four more than Finglas Garda Station.

Across the county’s 20 garda stations, a total of 4,360 offences were recorded.

The Kilkenny station was the 14th-busiest in the country overall last year, with 2,885 offences recorded in total. This represents a decline on the figure for 2010, when 3,143 offences were recorded.

However, both Castlecomer and Thomastown stations recorded increases in crime – with 192 and 177 offences respectively last year. CSO data also shows that four of Kilkenny’s ‘rural’ stations were among the least busy in Ireland – recording less than one incident per week in 2011.

Freshford and Stoneyford garda stations both recorded just 38 offences all year, while Inistioge had only 28. The quietest beat of all was Kilmoganny Garda Station, where only 20 offences were recorded.

Mayor of the City Sean O’ hArgain has expressed concern over Kilkenny’s record in the public order offences category. Research has consistently shown this type of crime to be associated with alcohol-consumption.

A meeting of the Joint Policing Committee earlier this year heard that alcohol-related crime was on the rise in Kilkenny. In 2011, some 435 people were arrested for public drunkenness offences.

“I have already called for an increased garda presence on our streets, and I will do so again,” said Mayor O’ hArgain.

“I think the gardai are doing their best. But I would like them to be more visible on our streets, particularly on weekends – Friday and Saturday night.”

Certain areas of the city have become known as hotspots for alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour and public disorder, and the mayor has expressed particular concern over Rose Inn Street.

“The situation on Rose Inn Street now needs to be addressed,” he said.

“It has gotten particularly bad on weekend nights. Many locals are deeply concerned about the structure of that area at certain times. There is also a noise pollution problem, coming from certain venues.”

The mayor has indicated that he is to seek a meeting with the city’s new superintendent, Pauric Dunne, in the coming days.

Kilkenny does not feature in the top 10 stations for burglary offences, but data shows more burglaries last year (590 offences) than any other year in the last decade.

Crime has fallen by 13% nationally since its peak in 2008, but burglary rates across the country have increased by 15% since then. In Kilkenny City alone, there was a 37% increase in burglaries between 2008 and 2011.

l For further area analysis, see page 4.