Sex­ual as­sault unit open­ing in Castle­belling­ham

The Argus - - NEWS -

A spe­cial garda unit ded­i­cated to sex­ual as­sault is due to open in the com­ing days, the Joint Polic­ing Com­mit­tee meet­ing in Car­ling­ford heard last week.

The unit, has al­ready been operating from Dun­dalk Garda Sta­tion and Chief Supt Christy Man­gan said that it will be lo­cated in an old build­ing in Castle­belling­ham which has been re­vamped.

It will deal with those who have been vic­tims of se­ri­ous sex­ual as­saults such as rape and at­tacks on the streets.

He would like to see far more peo­ple mak­ing com­plaints re­gard­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as the gar­dai can’t fol­low up and pros­e­cute of­fend­ers un­less they get a com­plaint.

‘We can’t take per­pe­tra­tors and bring them be­fore the courts un­less we have a com­plaint,’ he said.

The meet­ing also heard that there had been 33 re­ports of sex­ual as­sault so far this year.

Gar­dai had re­sponded to an in­creas­ing num­ber of in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic abuse, in­clud­ing 10 cases of barring or­ders be­ing breached, 15 cases of pro­tec­tion or­ders be­ing breached, and 17 cases of safety or­ders be­ing breached.

They had at­tended at 229 in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic dis­pute, where they had gone to a house but no ac­tual com­plaint had been made.

In these cases, the gar­dai will go back a week later and try to en­gage with peo­ple who may have been re­luc­tant to make a com­plaint, he said.

‘Do­mes­tic abuse is too mild a term,’ he said, re­fer­ring to a high num­ber of high pro­file cases in­volv­ing women who had been mur­dered.

‘It’s hor­ri­ble, hor­ri­ble vi­o­lence with peo­ple liv­ing in houses in fear,’ he stated,

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