We need to tackle increase in violence

IT’S extremely concerning that the number of assaults reported to gardaí in Kerry in the first three months of this year has almost doubled on last year’s figure, from 74 to 130.

Kerry’s new Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster believes the higher figure reflects growing confidence amongst members of the public in the gardaí, resulting in a greater willingness to report crime. Nevertheless, assaults of any kind are serious, even those described as minor. Throughout Kerry - and all over the country - there are too many examples of so-called minor assaults escalating into very grave crimes, with the most horrible consequences, up to and including the loss of life.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that the number of assaults causing ‘serious harm’ in Kerry fell by a quarter in the first three months of the year, down from 40 to 30. There is legitimate concern that we, as a society, are becoming more and more violent. The slightest argument now can develop into something physical as restraint takes a back seat.

People need to step back. Young people, in particular, need to learn the benefits of de-escalation.

Violence is a scourge that needs to be confronted, whether it’s in the domestic setting, on the streets or in the pub. The State needs to carry the anti-violence campaign into the schools, as has been done with road safety and anti-sexual abuse programmes.