Gun and drug crime levels fall in Donegal

Gun and drug related crime have fallen significantly since the recession has hit.

Gun and drug related crime have fallen significantly since the recession has hit.

According to a report in yesterday’s Irish Times, the biggest fall in gun crime in Ireland was in Donegal. The number of cases brought for possession of a firearm or discharging a firearm in the county fell by a 78 per cent, to just four cases since 2008. In contrast, gun crime rose by 100 per cent in Sligo Leitrim, from four to eight cases. Cavan Monaghan also saw a significant increase, of 50 per cent, from six cases to nine. The number of gun crimes fell in 22 of the 28 Garda divisions during the period, according to the report, which is based on figures from the Central Statistics office.

The level of drug crime also fell, by 15 per cent in Donegal (387 cases of possession for either personal use or sale or supply). This is lower than the national average decline of 26 per cent and markedly lower than areas such as Kildare (-44 per cent), Tipperary (-42 per cent) and Kerry (-40 per cent). The fall in drug crime in Sligo Leitrim was just 3 per cent.

Cllr. Paul Canning, however, says it’s only the numbers of prosecutions that are falling, not the levels of crime. “It looks great on paper but that’s not what’s happening on the ground. We have raiders coming in across the border and racing back again. If you took the statistics from when the border checkpoints were in place, there certainly would have been a dramatic fall in detections when the checkpoints were removed. If they close garda stations, we’ll see more of the same type of thing we’ve been seeing the last few weekends, raiders crossing the border and trying to flee back again but nobody left here to catch them.”