Recent figures have shown crime reductions during Covid and improving detection rates. However Dublin continues to suffer three times the rate of theft and nearly double the level of drug offense. Breaking the grip of the drug lords has become a top priority after a 65% increase in their sale and supply in the past four years. New approaches are being introduced, to avoid young people being sucked in. A treatment exit as an alternative to the Courts for personal users, and effective community policing have become key to a better approach.
The killing of Ashling Murphy has left our entire community angry and concerned. The crime figures also show how women are targets too often in our society. There are very disturbing patterns of sexual assault. Only just over 3,000 sexual assaults are reported annually to the Gardaí. This figure is up 60% in the past five years, but the real incidence is believed to be ten times higher. Only one in five such crimes are detected, and this does not help the willingness of victims to come forward. This is a reform priority for Minister Helen McEntee who is reforming the law: to target new patterns of offense like coercive control; to support victims particularly in finding safe refuge and through the ordeal of a trial; and to change our attitudes around domestic and gender based violence. I believe that all public bodies should have a published statement on how they ensure Justice for Women, to develop a bottom up response to this dark side of our society.