by Paul O’Malley
The incidence of various crimes in the Mayo Garda Division has reduced in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, yet there has been a big jump in reports of domestic abuse and criminal damage.
There has been a noticeable increase in the number of cases of domestic abuse compared to the same period last year, with experts suggesting that the higher rate is connected with the recent Covid-19 lockdown. Breaches of barring orders accounted for 17 of the 272 incidents of domestic abuse in Mayo in 2020, an increase of 70% on last year’s figure. Some 57 domestic abuse cases were catalogued as crime incidents while a further 198 had no offence disclosed.
During the first six months of the year, gardaí re-contacted 96% of persons reporting domestic abuse within seven days as part of Operation Faoiseamh, well above the national target of 60% each month. The operation also involved enforcement on breaches of orders, with all incidents reviewed to maximise enforcement.
There has been a seven per cent increase in cases of criminal damage with 159 recorded this year compared to 148 in the first half of 2019. Non-aggravated burglaries dropped by 42% year on year, with 42 recorded as of June 30, 2020, compared to 73 at the same time last year.
There have been 274 incidents of property crime recorded up to June 30, compared to 424 recorded at the same time last year, a decrease of 35%. Minor assaults have dropped by 27% with 102 recorded up to June 30 compared to 140 on the same date in 2019.
Public order offences cases have dropped by 33% compared to the same period last year, falling from 269 to 179. Car thefts are down 51% year on year, dropping from 65 to 32.
Gardaí have said the double-digit declines across a wide range of crimes is attributable to the Covid-19 lockdown from March to June.
A total of 23 sexual assaults have been recorded in the county during the first six months of 2020 compared to 26 for the same period last year, while the number of rapes remains at six for the first six months of both years.