Burglary rates in Cork have increased by almost 10% in the year to the end of September, despite overall rates falling in most other parts of the country.
Figures published by the Central Statistics Office show the number of reported burglaries in Cork City over the 12-month period rose by 14% — an annual increase of 75 to 617.
The trend was evident across four of the five divisions within the Garda southern region which covers Cork, Kerry and Limerick. At the same time the overall number of burglaries nationally fell by over 6% including an 8% reduction in Dublin and 16% drop in the Garda eastern region which covers the counties surrounding the capital.
Gardaí have attributed the general reduction in burglaries to the ongoing success of Operation Thor and Hybrid which have focused on tackling organised crime, particularly in the greater Dublin area.
In the southern region, only the Cork West division experienced a reduction in burglaries of around 8% to 110. The division, which covers towns including Bandon, Bantry, Clonakilty and Macroom still has proportionately one of the lowest crime rates in the country of the 28 Garda divisions.
The most sizeable increase in burglary rates in the entire country over the period was in Limerick where there was an 18.5% rise in reported offences — up 145 to 929.
More moderate increases were recorded respectively in the Cork North and Kerry divisions of 9% and 3%.
Although there was a 12% increase nationally in the number of sexual offences recorded over the period, there was a 1.5% reduction in the number of reported rapes and sexual assaults in Cork City.
Over the same period, the number of sexual offences recorded in Kerry shot up by 57% — up 33 to 91.
On a positive note, Cork bucked the national trend in relation to assaults and robberies which were up 7% and 23% respectively across the country.
All three divisions in the county recorded decreases in the number of violent incidents ranging between 3% and 6%. In contrast, the incidence of such crimes rose by 25% in Kerry — up 122 to 619.
There was also a 55% rise in the number of robberies in Kerry over the 12-month period when there was an 11% drop in such crimes in Cork City. At the same time, there was no change in the level of robberies in the other two Cork Garda divisions.
There was a slight reduction in the number of drug offences across the southern region in contrast to the national situation where detections of illegal drug use were up 6%.
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the success of Garda operations had resulted in increases in the number of recorded offences for certain crimes such as harassment and firearms.
Mr Flanagan said addressing the rising incidence of sexual offences would remain a key focus for both the Government and gardaí.
He promised legislation which was going through the Dáil would provide for stricter sentencing for repeat sexual offenders.