SPECIAL REPORT: Crime analysis reveals meanest and safest streets

You are most likely to be burgled in Louth, mugged or hijacked in Dublin, sexually assaulted in Limerick, shot or beaten in Waterford, and encounter someone drunk and disorderly in Kerry, according to an analysis of the latest crime data.

A national crime league table compiled by the Irish Examiner shows Roscommon and Longford to be the safest counties, while Waterford, Louth, Wicklow, and Limerick recorded some of the highest crime rates.

A breakdown of official crime statistics for 2012 confirms Dublin as Ireland’s crime capital, with an average of 789 offences per 10,000 population compared to the national average of 532. It has the highest rates for robberies, theft, drug, and fraud offences.

While overall crime rates were down nationally, one in every 18 people was a victim of crime last year, with one in 60 a victim of theft.

The Garda division of Roscommon/Longford narrowly edged Mayo as the region with the lowest crime rate, with an average of just 325 offences per 10,000 population — less than half the rate in Dublin or Limerick. Low crime levels were also recorded in Donegal, Clare, and Tipperary.

Limerick has the highest crime levels for sex offences and criminal damage to property, while Waterford has the worst crime rate for assaults and weapons and explosives offences.

Kerry recorded the highest incidence of public order offences. However, the county has the lowest crime rate for burglary, fraud, and criminal damage.

Cavan/Monaghan has the highest rate of drink-driving offences, while Louth has the most burglaries on a per capita basis, and Clare has the highest rate for road traffic offences.

Donegal, which has seen record drops in overall crime levels in recent years, has the lowest incidence of both theft and weapons offences.

Despite being the largest county, Cork has only the ninth highest crime rate of 21 Garda divisions — the city centre has lower crime levels than other cities.

However, despite the absence of any major gang activity in the city, Cork has a high homicide rate — 42 in the past five years.

In the county, overall crime levels have been dropping at a faster rate than the national average since 2008.

Mayo, the only county to see a slight rise in overall crime levels in 2012, has the lowest crime rate for sexual offences, drugs, and breaches of court orders.


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