Garda boss shines spotlight on domestic violence

By Maria Pepper

Wexford gardai responded to 617 incidents of domestic violence last year, according to Chief Superintendent John Roche who briefed members of the Joint Policing Committee on the issue on Monday.

The figure represents an increase on 2015 when there were 560 reported incidents in the county. In the first four months of this year, the gardai have been called out to 167 episodes of domestic abuse, including assault causing harm, minor assault, sexual assault, harassment, rape and breaches of protection and barring orders.

Chief Superintendent Roche said the burglary rate often gets headlines but there is an equivalent number of domestic abuse cases in Wexford that are not highlighted.

'We have headlines in the papers about crime rates. We've had 168 burglaries so far this year and we have the same number of domestic abuse cases that don't make the headlines. It's going on in people's homes,' he said.

Included in the 617 incidents last year were 95 minor assaults, 18 serious assaults in which a partner or relative was injured, one sexual assault, 26 breaches of barring orders and 32 breaches of safety orders.

In total, last year's incidents involved 65 cases in which court orders had been made. 'It gives us the power of arrest when we go into a house if there is a court order in place,' said the Chief Superintendent.

Cllr. George Lawlor has called for domestic violence to be highlighted more 'so the perpetrators know there is no hiding place'.

Wexford People

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