Home > Gardaí appeal to young males to "use your brain not your fists” to reduce assaults.

[Garda.ie] Gardaí appeal to young males to "use your brain not your fists” to reduce assaults. (19 Jul 2018)

An Garda Síochána seeks to reduce assaults through targeted action


  • 2017 has seen the highest number of assaults since 2008
  • Minor assault accounts for the bulk of assault incidents (75% in 2017)
  • Early hours of Sunday morning are peak times for assaults at non-residential locations 
  • Assaults linked to the night time economy up 1% between 2016 and 2017
  • 87% of offenders in assault causing harm cases are male; 53% are males aged between 18 and 34 years
  • 76% of offenders in minor assaults are male; 34% are males aged between 18 and 34 years 
  • Low level of repeat victimisation (3%) for non-residential assault
  • Higher level of repeat offenders (25%)

An Garda Síochána has today (19 July 2019) appealed to young males to "Use Your Brain Not Your Fists” and think of the consequences for themselves and others of being involved in assaults. According to the Garda Síochána Analysis Service (GSAS), 2017 has seen the highest number of assaults since 2008.


According to the GSAS, the majority of assaults are carried out by males aged between 18 and 34 against males of a similar age. These assaults typically take place in and around public places (street, roads, pubs and hotels) between 8pm and 5am at the weekend, peaking early Sunday morning.


International research has shown that the level of assaults can be associated with the vibrancy of the night time economy, which has shown signs of recovery in this country following the recession. 

The total number of assaults decreased year on year between 2008 and 2013, but since then it has increased – last year saw the highest number of assaults since 2008. Assault levels to date this year are on par with 2017 levels.

As a proportion of all assaults, those linked to the night time economy have risen by 1 percentage point between 2016 and 2017; although the proportion of all assaults linked to the night time economy has fallen in recent years, from a high of 24% in 2007 to 16% in 2016.

To reduce assaults and enhance community safety, An Garda Síochána has implemented its multi-strand anti-crime strategy. This has involved a range of activities across a number of different areas.

Operations and Crime Prevention: Assault hotspots have been identified and from early summer there has been a high visibility policing presence in these areas at key times. 

Partnership: An Garda Síochána is working in partnerships with licensed premises, the business community and local councils to address issues around anti-social behaviour. 

Education: The public awareness campaign titled Use Your Brain Not Your Fists targeted at males aged between 16 and 35 will be promoted again from today. 

The campaign informs them about the consequences from assaulting another person – they could lose their job, their ability to travel, and even go to jail. It also reminds people of the potentially devastating physical and mental impact on assault victims. (Please see Editor’s Notes for extracts from Victim Impact Statements from young male assault victims). 


The campaign will run across social media, in-pub advertising, and in locations such as nightclubs, sports clubs and youth clubs. It will also be extensively promoted in Third Level institutions from September. 

Item Type:News
Date:19 July 2018
Related URLs:
Subjects:G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime and violence > Crime against persons (assault / abuse / intimidation)
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Law enforcement agency > Police (Garda)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

Repository Staff Only: item control page