Burglary and assault on the rise, says CSO

There has been a sharp increase in assaults and a continuing surge in burglaries, official figures show.

And while the number of homicides is significantly down, there has been a huge increase in murder threats.

CSO figures also show that recorded sexual assaults, including rape, increased in the last year.

However, the actual figures could be 30% higher, given the concerns expressed in the summer by the CSO at the accuracy of Garda data.

Statistics for the year ending June 2014, compared to the year ending June 2015, show:

  • Assaults jumped by 10%, from 14,548 to 16,054;
  • Burglaries increased by 8%, from 26,589 to 28,830;
  • Sexual offences rose by 3%, from 2,006 to 2,072.

Theft, the biggest category in terms of volume of crime, increased by 2%, to 78,885 — including an 11% rise in theft from shops. Fraud offences increased by 6%, to 5,337. Homicide offences including murder, manslaughter, and dangerous driving causing death fell dramatically, from 93 to 60 — down 35%.

Dangerous and negligent acts, many of them serious driving-related offences, dropped by 5%.

Robberies were down significantly, from 2,830 to 2,578 (-9%). This included cash- in-transit robberies (-18%) and bank/post office robberies (-5%). Public order offences fell by 5%.

The increase in assaults includes a 5% rise in serious assaults and an 11% jump in other assaults. It also reflects a massive increase in threats of murder, from 352 to 537 (+53%).

The 28,830 burglaries included 315 aggravated (or violent) break-ins, compared to 310 the previous year.

Recorded sexual offences include a 7% rise in rapes, from 448 to 478. There was a 6% rise in sexual assaults, to 1,327, and there was a 70% rise in a sexual offence against a mentally impaired person (from 10 to 17).

Other violent offences that increased include false imprisonment (+3%) and carjackings (+27%).

While weapons offences as a whole fell by 3%, including a 2% reduction in discharge of a firearm, there was a 21% jump in firearms possession (to 214).

Similarly, while drug offences fell marginally, there was a 1% increase in the supply and sale of drugs.

A geographical breakdown shows that assaults rose across all six Garda regions, with the biggest increases in Dublin (+15%), followed by the southern region (+9%) and western region (+8%).

Burglaries rose in four of the regions — mostly notably in Dublin (+15%), followed by the southern region (+11%).

Sexual offences increased in five regions with the biggest increase in the northern region (+17%), followed by Dublin (+8%).

The biggest increase in theft offences was in the southern region (+6%).

The actual number of crimes is thought to be higher than official figures show. When it published its audit of garda statistics in 2011, last June, the CSO located 75,000 crimes that had not been recorded, including 6,400 assaults and 5,100 burglaries.

The CSO said that it did not know if there have been improvements in the garda system since.


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