THE recession is being cited as one of the reasons behind a drop in public order incidents across North Cork.
New figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for 2012 have shown public order offences within the division to be at their lowest level since the height of the Celtic Tiger in 2005.
The figures give a comprehensive overview of recorded crime under various different categories, comparing them to figures for each year going back to 2004.
In the majority of categories the figures for 2012 were down on the previous year, with notable exceptions being controlled drug offences, weapons and explosive offences, and theft related offences.
Cork North's most senior garda, Chief Superintendent Ger Dillane, said it was important that the first two of these categories were not taken out of context.
"The drugs figure also includes the fact that we successfully uncovered a number of grow houses in the region and the fact that we made a higher number of small seizures during last year's Mitchelstown Music Festival," he said.
"The weapons and explosives category also incorporates old and usable guns as well as a number of seizures of fireworks that were made during 2012," he added.
Chief Superintendent Dillane did say that the increase in thefts and the decrease in public order offences could both be linked to the current financial climate.
"People simply cannot afford to go out drinking and, as a result, there has been a gradual reduction in the number of public order incidents over recent years.
"The change in the garda rostering system has also resulted in more gardai being on duty on weekend nights, which serves as a deterrent to crime," he said.
"The recession has also seen people come under increasing financial pressure, which would, in part, explain the increase in recorded theft incidents, particularly shoplifting,"