7% rise in people contacting crime victims’ helpline

There has been a 7% rise in numbers contacting the crime victims’ helpline — with a noticeable increase in people affected by burglaries.

Statistics show an overall reduction in crime, but an increase in burglary, theft, and fraud.

According to the latest figures from the National Crime Victims’ Helpline, burglaries and theft “can have serious effects on the people affected”.

Maeve Ryan, co-ordinator of the helpline, said: “There is also the loss suffered when cash, jewellery and other items are stolen.

“And there are many other issues such as repairs to damaged doors and windows, difficulties with insurance claims, the need to upgrade your security and, for many parents, the worry about the impact of the crime on their children.”

Total calls to the helpline increased from 783 to 838 between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of this year.

Ms Ryan said: “Many people who experience crime will deal with it themselves, often with the help of family and friends. For others who may be more affected by the crime we encourage them to talk about the incident to someone they trust — and if some independent assistance is required the crime victims’ helpline can help. We deal with and assist people every day who are experiencing emotional upset as a result of a crime.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed that only one in four recorded burglaries are solved by gardaí.

A major report published by the CSO shows that Garda detection rates mostly improved between 2006 and 2010, with notable exceptions being in relation to homicides and sexual offences.

The CSO report confirmed a rise in burglaries in recent years, with an increase from 24,792 in 2006 to 25,377 in 2010. That increased further to 27,439 in 2011.

The report showed that only 25% of burglaries in 2010 were detected, which was up on 22% in 2006.

The CSO Crime and Victimisation survey published in Oct 2010 showed that 25% of people burgled did not even report the crime to gardaí.

In a bid to combat a rise in break-ins, gardaí are targeting the country’s top 300 burglars as part of a nationwide operation, with more than 30 already brought to court and charged.

Each of the 27 divisions have drawn up list of their top 10 burglars, with more in Dublin, and operations have been put in place to catch them red-handed.

The national helpline number is freephone 116 006. The number for texts is 085 1337711


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