Donegal has seen a significant increase in instances of sexual crime
There has been a significant rise in sexual crime in Donegal in the last year.
Instances of sexual crime, including rape, have seen a 50 per cent increase in 2021.
As a result of the increased volume of reports, a burden has been placed upon An Garda Síochána’s specialised protection unit in Donegal.
Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn has said that there have been a marked increase in reports of rape by girls aged 17-19.
“In some cases, they now the suspect and in others, they don’t,” Superintendent McGinn told the December meeting of the Joint Policing Committee.
It has been confirmed that thee amount of officers dedicated to the unit will be increased by 50 per cent.
Superintendent McGinn said: “We have permission from the national executive to do that.”
“It will take a while, but we will up-skill those officers.
“Each member is carrying big case loads on their books at the moment. Some victims are vulnerable, some have special needs and there are sometimes children involved, so we can’t possibly hold these a long time before dealing with them.”
The officers who will be redirected to the specialised unit will be drawn from other units, Superintendent McGinn said.
The JPC Chairperson, Councillor Gerry McMonagle, asked Superintendent McGinn if there were ‘adequate resources’ being put into this area.
“Bringing guars from other units, which are of equally high importance, is concerning,” he said. “It seems to be a resources issue.”
Superintendent McGinn said: “It is robbing Peter to pay Paul, but I am confident that we are making the right decision and not just putting people out on a chessboard.”
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