#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 22 September 2020

'I was a happy-go-lucky guy before the assault but now I'd describe my life as hell'

Gardaí have launched a public awareness campaign to reduce assaults.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews,ie

THERE HAS BEEN a rise in the number of late night assaults in recent years – in line with more people going out socialising as the night-time economy improves.

According to the Garda Analysis Service, 83% of assaults are carried out by men and the majority of offenders are aged between 18 and 39 against men of a similar age.

The assaults typically take place in and around public places (street, roads, pubs and hotels) between 8pm and 5am at the weekend.

Gardaí are appealing to young men to think of the consequences for themselves and others of being involved in assaults. One 26-year-old man who was the victim of an assault said:

Before the assault I was a happy-go-lucky guy, but since then I would describe my life as hell. Along with the terrible injuries that kept me in hospital for a long time, I have suffered from depression and paranoia and I still feel angry a lot of the time.

The Garda Analysis Service illustrates a link between Ireland’s night time economy showing signs of recovery following the recession and the level of assaults.

In the Dublin Metropolitan Region, the number of assaults causing harm rose from 1,396 in 2012 to 1,707 in 2015, while minor assaults increased from 3,100 to 3,337 in the same period.

In 2016, assaults nationally have shown a decline with minor assaults down 2% and assaults causing harm down 4%.

Anti-crime strategy 

An Garda Síochána has implemented a multi-strand anti-crime strategy to further reduce the number of assaults.

As part of this, assault hotspots have been identified and there has been a high visibility policing presence in these areas at key times.

Gardaí are also working with licensed premises, the business community and local councils to address issues around anti-social behaviour.

And a public awareness campaign Use Your Brain Not Your Fists targeted at men aged between 18 and 39 goes live from today.

It gives information about the consequences of assaulting another person – losing your job, ability to travel and even going to jail.

It also reminds people of the potentially devastating physical and mental impact on assault victims. One 29-year-old victim of assault said:

Since the incident I think about the vulnerability of myself, my girlfriend and my family when out socialising or going about daily life. In the weeks that followed the incident I experienced disturbed sleep and anxiety.

Another 25-year-old man described how, “Towards my friends I seem more easily scared, more anxious and more irritable. That is getting obvious regarding sports: I almost never got booked or red carded before, and it happens to me more often now.”

Garda Bureau of Community Engagement Sergeant Kelvin Courtney  said, ”The vast majority of assaults that occur are needless and avoidable.

“Be streetwise when you’re out and about. Planning is key to having a good night out. Arrange transport to and from events in advance. Let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back. Avoid walking alone and in dark places. Be wary of your surroundings and mind your property.”

“Never attempt to reason with drunk or aggressive people. Walk away and look for help.

Sergeant Courtney urged assault victims to report the crime, which, according to the CSO may be under-reported by approximately 40%.

Some victims of assaults, particularly men, are embarrassed to say they have been assaulted. I would encourage anybody, and in particular younger men, to report all assaults to An Garda Síochána.

“Anyone who has been assaulted will be treated with sensitivity by An Garda Síochána and it will be fully investigated.”

Read: Gardaí investigating serious assault on a busy Dublin road>

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel