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Last Updated: Friday, 9 May, 2003, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Ireland's 'most dangerous street'
O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street had four times the crime levels of Grafton Street

Dublin's main thoroughfare is the most dangerous street in Ireland, according to a new study.

Crime in O'Connell Street has risen by more than 160% over a five year period.

The National Crime Council commissioned report found a similar increase in the number of public order offences involving juveniles.

The study examined levels of public order throughout the Republic of Ireland.

The report, launched by Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell on Friday, looks at various aspects of public order offences over the past number of years.

Being drunk in public and threatening or abusive behaviour accounted for 80% of offences, said the authors.

There was also an increase of about 160% in the number of public order offences involving juveniles during the study period of 1996-2001, said the report.

The two headings under which people are prosecuted under this act are intoxication in a public place and threatening behaviour
Padraig White
National Crime Council

About two-thirds of all the criminal cases resulted in conviction.

O'Connell Street - one of Dublin's most historic areas - recorded four times the crime levels of Grafton Street, at the heart of the city's shopping and tourist area.

'Cause aggravation'

National Crime Council chairman Padraig White said he carried out the report because of the growing number of offences and increasing public concern.

While a significant number of offences did not cause direct harm, they were a nuisance to the general public, he said.

"The two headings under which people are prosecuted under this act are intoxication in a public place and threatening behaviour," he said.

Fear of random attacks was highlighted in the report
Fear of random attacks was highlighted in the report

"They don't necessarily end up in serious harm to people but they cause aggravation because they cause fear, they interfere with people's ability to go and enjoy themselves."

"Even though the vast majority of these offences don't end up in damage to an individual or serious assault it is the fear factor," he said.

Mr White said police officers themselves feared attack.

Fear of random attacks was highlighted in the report, which found 40% of offences committed in city centres were in or outside pubs.




SEE ALSO:
Anti-crime scheme unveiled
18 Mar 03  |  Northern Ireland
Public safety a 'police priority'
12 Mar 03  |  Northern Ireland
Burglary not a high priority for police
17 Sep 02  |  Northern Ireland


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