Home > Public order offences in Ireland: a report by the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University College Dublin for the National Crime Council.

University College Dublin. Institute of Criminology.. (2003) Public order offences in Ireland: a report by the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University College Dublin for the National Crime Council. Dublin: Stationery Office.

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1. The National Crime Council is an independent body established in July, 1999 by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to act as a forum for the development and contribution of recommendations that will assist public policy making on issues relating to the reduction and prevention of crime.

2. In commissioning this research in March, 2001 into public order offending in Ireland the National Crime Council was aware of the concern about this particular type of behaviour. Whilst much of the behaviour, as this report shows, may be of a minor nature the fallout from public order offences can extend beyond the individuals involved, for example:
• Exposure to public order offending (in either a residential community or a city/town centre) can affect the general ‘quality of life’ of citizens, while also increasing the ‘fear of crime’, especially among the more vulnerable members of society and the parents of young adults;
• How incidents broadly classified as ‘public disorder’ are reported in the media can contribute to a disproportionate fear among the public about the true nature and extent of this type of offending;
• Injured and intoxicated individuals frequently require medical attention in Accident and Emergency Departments, with financial and capacity implications for the health sector;
• There is an economic cost to employers through sick leave and absenteeism;
• Businesses carry the costs associated with damage to their property;
• Much of the time and resources of An Garda Síochána during the late night hours are taken up with policing public order type incidents; and
• Prosecutions for public order offences are adding to court backlogs.

3. The Council’s main objective was to establish the level of public order offending in Ireland and also to identify the likely contributory factors, including (but not exclusively) alcohol consumption. In commissioning this research the Council acknowledged that the statistical base needed to establish the true extent of this offending may not be available across a range of agencies and that an innovative approach would be required by the researchers. However, the Council believed that even if the level of offending could not be measured to a high degree of accuracy, every effort should be made to utilise all possible sources of data. Whilst there are limitations to the statistics available, the researchers ensured that all of the data made available, was utilised to its full potential. The Council notes that it was not possible to access the descriptive component of the PULSE data for reasons of confidentiality. Nevertheless, this wide-ranging report on patterns of public order offending in Ireland provides valuable information on a heretofore under-researched area.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Alcohol, All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Call No
MM2.2, VH4.2
87 p.
Stationery Office
Corporate Creators
University College Dublin. Institute of Criminology.
Place of Publication
Includes bibliographical references.
Accession Number
HRB 1610 (Available)

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