Home News Crime Gardai urge young men to “Use Your Brain, Not Your Fists”

Gardai urge young men to “Use Your Brain, Not Your Fists”

An Garda Síochána has appealed to young men to “Use Your Brain Not Your Fists” and think of the consequences for themselves and others of being involved in assaults.

They hope to reduce this risk through targeted action, following the highest number of assaults since 2008 were recorded in 2017.

Facts of Assault

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.

Anti-Crime Strategy 

In an attempt to reduce the number of assaults and enhance community safety, An Garda Síochána has implemented a multi-strand anti-crime strategy. This has involved different activities around the following 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 will be broadly shared across social media, in-pub advertising and locations such as nightclubs, sports clubs and youth clubs.

They also hope to promote it extensively in Third Level institutions from September.

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.

Victim Support

Through their national network of Victim Service Offices ,victims of assaults are provided with information on available support services and are given regular updates on their case.

“The vast majority of assaults that occur are needless and avoidable,” said Sergeant Graham Kavanagh from the National Crime Prevention Unit (NCPU).

“They are usually carried out by males against males aged between 18 and 35. The peak time for these assaults is early Sunday morning. Don’t be that guy; use your brain not your fists.”

“Never attempt to reason with drunk or aggressive people. Walk away and look for help.

“Be streetwise when you’re out and about. Planning is key to having a good night out. Arrange transport to and from events in advance. Let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back. Avoid walking alone and in dark places. Be wary of your surroundings and mind your property.” the Sergeant urged.

Sergeant Kavanagh said men shouldn’t feel embarrassed to say they have been assaulted.

“I would encourage anybody, and in particular younger men, to report all assaults to An Garda Síochána. Anyone who has been assaulted will be treated with sensitivity by An Garda Síochána and it will be fully investigated.”

An anti-assault video based on the Garda ‘Use Your Brain Not Your Fist’ Campaign targeting transition year students, has been created by Comhairle na nÓg Liatroma.

An Garda Síochána shared the following facts and statistics of assault:

• 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%)

SEE ALSO – Laois town has become ‘organised crime hub’ – report

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Sarah Cullen is a Journalism and New Media graduate from the University of Limerick. A Portlaoise native, she is happiest when tweeting and talking about dogs.