A threat to kill the most senior garda in Laois was one of eight threats to kill recorded in the last quarter of 2018.
At the recent meeting of the Joint Policing Meeting in Laois County Hall, Chief Superintendent John Scanlan revealed that from the last quarter of 2017 to the last quarter of 2018, threats to kill are up 60% from five to eight.
Cllr James Kelly lamented the fact that the statistics for the local prisons are included in the crime figures for the area and suggested writing a letter to the Minister for Justice requesting that these figures be taken out.
Cllr Noel Tuohy asked how many assaults were committed against prison officers, while Sean Fleming TD asked whether domestic violence accounted for any of the threats to kill.
Chief Supt Scanlan replied that two of these threats were in prison and two happened at the garda station, with one of these threats made against the superintendent himself.
Two more were neighbours’ disputes and two were over social media.
Concerning domestic violence, he said that was a specialist unit approach to this problem being devised, with one inspector, two sergeants and ten gardaí involved.
Overall, crimes against the person are up 5.7%, from 106 in the last quarter of 2017 to 112 in the last quarter of last year.
Assault against a peace officer is up from one to two; assault causing harm is up 4.8% from 21 to 22; assault causing minor harm is down 2.8% from 71 to 64; harassment is up 300%, from one to four; menacing phone calls stay the same at seven; and threats to kill are up 60% from five to eight.