Sexual assault unit opening in Castlebellingham
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,