Crime detection falls as Dublin north stays top blackspot

Dublin’s north inner city is the country’s main crime blackspot, with crime rates several times the national average for a range of offences including assaults, theft and illegal drugs.

In contrast, the Garda divisions of Cork West and Mayo have some of the country’s lowest crime rates.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office show Dublin North Central has the highest per capita rate of all 28 Garda divisions in the Republic for most types of crime.

The division, which includes busy stations at Store Street, Mountjoy and the Bridewell, recorded the highest crime rate across nine out of 12 main crime categories, including fraud and road traffic offences.

CSO figures show the only types of crimes for which Dublin North Central didn’t have the highest crime rate in 2014 — the latest year for which comparable data is available — were burglaries, public orders offences and miscellaneous crimes.

The CSO does not calculate incidence and detection rates at Garda divisional level for certain crimes, including homicide, kidnappings and robberies because the number of such offences is relatively small.

The Garda division of Cork West had the lowest crime rates in Ireland for burglaries, thefts and firearm offences, while Mayo has the lowest level for sexual offences, drug offences and breaches of court orders.

Official figures recorded on the Garda PULSE system show Dublin North Central not only had the highest crime rate for sexual offences in the country, but also the poorest detection rate for such crimes. Just 22 out of 75 reported sexual offences in the area during in 2014 were solved.

The number of rapes and other sexual offences recorded within the division in 2014 represented 86 crimes per 100,000 population, almost double the national average of 44.

Mayo had the lowest recorded incidence of sexual offences at just 26 per 100,000.

The figures also show 29% of such offences in Dublin North Central resulted in criminal proceedings, compared to the national average of 47%.

Dublin North Central also has the highest incidence of assaults with 915 per 100,000, almost three times the national average. Another Garda division in the capital, Dublin East, which covers Dún Laoghaire, Blackrock and Dundrum had the lowest rate at 220.

The level of thefts reported in Dublin North Central at 8,785 per 100,000 represented a rate over five times the national average of 1.684 per 100,000.

People living in Cork West, which had the lowest rate at just 564, are 15 times less likely to have something stolen than a person in Dublin’s north inner city.

Gardaí in Kerry had the best detection rate for thefts, solving 61% of such crimes with the worst rate at 23% recorded in Dublin South which covers areas like Rathfarnham andTallaght.

For drug offences, Dublin North Central again recorded crime rates far above any other division with 2,177 crimes per 100,000. The national average was 344.7.

Gardaí in Kerry and Cork City have the best detection rates for burglaries at 34%.

Overall, the CSO figures show the crime-solving rate by gardaí has declined substantially over a five-year period to 2014.

The fall in detections since 2010 included significant reductions in relation to sexual offences, robberies and white-collar crime.


It came as quite a surprise to learn that I had been writing my Weekend column in the Irish Examiner for 21 years — how the years have flown by and how the food scene has changed in Ireland over those two decades.A letter from Darina Allen, celebrating 21 years writing for The Irish Examiner

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