Thefts against the person jump by 40%

Thefts against the person have jumped by 40% in the last year, while the spate of burglaries continues to grow, new figures show.

Cash-in-transit robberies have risen by almost 50%, while the number of murders and manslaughters have also increased.

But, overall, crime trends have fallen in the year ending September, compared to the same period last year.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the figures were “generally very positive” and said there were reductions in 12 of the 14 crime categories.

The CSO figures show that crimes were down for assaults, dangerous driving, kidnapping, robbery, drugs offences, weapons offences, and public disorder.

The CSO data shows the total number of homicide offences was down by 18%, to 64. This was due to a fall in cases of dangerous driving causing death (from 29 to 9), but the CSO cautioned that investigations into some of those cases may not have finished and are not yet included in the figures.

The main homicide figures — for murders and manslaughters — show there were 49 murders in the last year, compared to 50 the previous year. The number of manslaughter cases rose from two to six.

In relation to property crime, the figures show:

*Burglaries rose 8% from 26,607 to 28,706.

* Theft offences fell by 1% overall, mainly due to large drop in car thefts — but theft from the person rose by 40%, to 4,628.

* Robberies dropped by 6%, mainly due to declines in robberies from the person — but cash in transit raids jumped by 48%

Elsewhere, the number of fraud offences rose by 6%, to 5,590.

The number of recorded sex crimes remained effectively static, with a drop of 0.7%. Within that, sexual offences against mentally impaired people rose by 79% (from 14 to 25) and aggravated sexual assaults rose by 43% (from seven to 10).

Most crime categories fell, including assaults (down 9.5%), although the number of attempted murders went up from seven to nine.

The number of dangerous acts fell by 10%, mainly due to a fall in drink driving and drug driving offences.

Drugs, weapons, and public order offences all fell significantly.

“These latest statistics are generally very positive,” said Justice Minister Alan Shatter. “Gardaí are making an impact on crime and we can be confident that this forms a good basis for ensuring community safety into 2013.”

He said the situation in relation to property crime remained a concern, but added: “While the burglary figures reflect a 12-month trend seen earlier in the year, the rate of increase has reduced from 10.3% to 7.9% and the figures for the most recent quarter are actually marginally lower than the equivalent quarter in 2011, which is an encouraging development.

“Operation Fiacla, set up by the Garda Commissioner in February 2012 to combat a rise in burglaries, has resulted in 3,217 arrests and 1,737 charges up to the end of November. An Garda Síochána is clearly tackling the problem of burglary and the prolific offenders involved head on.”

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