THERE has been a significant increase in knife seizures across Limerick city and county over the past five years.
2017 saw the largest number of seizures in Limerick at 102, with numbers at 86, 74, 86 in subsequent years, going up to 98 in 2021.
Figures obtained by Aontú TD Peadar Tóibín through a parliamentary question show that both locally and nationally, from 2017 onwards, there was a major spike in knife seizures.
Ten years ago, 1,341 knives were seized across the State. Last year 2,132 knives were seized by members of An Garda Síochána.
Aontú representative for Castletroy, Eric Nelligan, says that, on one level, the work of the Gardaí has to be welcomed.
“The seizures have saved lives but it also shows that there is a significant and worsening problem of knives on our streets. These figures show a 60 per cent increase in knife seizures over the past 10 years. That’s an enormous increase,” Mr Nelligan told the Limerick Post.
“In recent years, there have been peaks in the number of individuals being treated in hospitals for knife assault injuries, particularly in 2019 and 2021.
“This increase in knife-related assaults is very concerning, and some members of An Garda Síochána believe it is a sign of increased knife-carrying, particularly among young men.”
Aontú are calling for more Gardaí on the streets, tougher sentences, and a knife amnesty, which gives members of the public the chance to dispose of a knife anonymously.