THE number of controlled drug offences recorded in Kildare fell over 18% in the three years to 2011, an analysis of officials crime figures show, writes Henry Bauress.
The figures, published by the Central Statistics Office on its website, and available for public viewing show that between 2008 and last year, the number of recorded controlled drug offences fell from 1,142 to 644.
Over the same period, the there was a 24% drop the these offences in the State to under 18,000.
The figures do not indicate why the number of recorded offences fell, whether by good work by the Gardai and State authorities to control the illegal drugs trade or for other reasons.
The figures show that between 2003 and 2011, the highest numbers were in 2008 and this should be borne in mind when considering the three year fall.
In 2003, 540 were recorded in the county and almost the same, 539 in 2004. There was a sharp rise to 740 in 2005 but this fell to 636 in 2006 before rising again to 796 in 2007.
The next year saw a high 1,142 offences recorded. Since then the numbers fell steadily to 788 in 2009 and 744 in 2010, reducing further to 644 last year.
At all but three – Kilcock, Rathangan and Carbury - of the eighteen stations in county Kildare, the numbers fell but in the stations which recorded increase, it should be said that these were from very low bases. In the case of the highest, there were 13 offences recorded at Kilcock station, a rise of 86%.
Rathangan and Carbury recorded only four and three cases respectively.
At the station with the most offences, Naas, offences dropped 48% to 332. Next was Celbridge where they fell 35% to 74, followed by Newbridge which saw a 61% drop to 51.
Then came Clane with a small 3% drop to 36.
Maynooth recorded a 19% fall to 25 and Athy a 35% drop to twenty five. Leixlip fell 14% to 23 and
Kildare town saw a 60% drop to sixteen.
Robertstown recorded a 25% fall to fifteen and Monasterevin dropped by half, recording just six controlled drug offences in 2011.
- Henry Bauress