Sex offences fall but murders and theft crimes rise

People and their homes are being increasingly targeted in thefts, robberies, and violent burglaries, official figures show.

Retail stores also continue to be hit, with a rise in thefts from shops and handling of stolen property.

The CSO figures also show a sharp rise in murders, attempted murders, and threats of murder.

The yearly figures cover recorded crime to the end of March, compared to the corresponding period the previous year.

Of the 14 crime categories, 10 reported reductions, in three cases slight falls, while four categories showed an increase, one of these was slight.

The reductions were in sexual offences (-5%), assaults (-6%), dangerous acts (12%), robbery (-0.5%), fraud (-2.4%), weapons (-8%), damage to property (-9%), public order (-15%), and offences against the government (-1%).

The increases were recorded in homicide offences (+22.5%), kidnapping (+6%), theft (+2%) and drug offences (+0.9%).

A breakdown of the figures on theft and property crimes show:

nThere were 1,115 more thefts from the person (+21%), 511 more thefts from shops (+3%), and 1,069 more of handling stolen property cases (+2.5%);

nWhile the overall number of robberies was down marginally (-0.5%), there were 36 more robberies from the person (+2%);

nThe overall number of burglaries fell (-1.4%), but there were 53 more aggravated burglaries (+9.5%). Robberies and aggravated burglaries involve violence or the threat of violence.

The number of reported car thefts fell 12%, while robberies at banks/post offices and security vans remained largely unchanged.

The figures show a sharp increase in the number of homicides, up from 71 to 80, including a 36% rise in murders, from 44 to 60.

While the overall number of assaults are down, within that category the number of attempted murders more than doubled, while threats of murder rose nearly 30%.

The rise in kidnappings was driven by cases involving the abduction of a child under the age of 16 (+106%), as well as a 27% rise in human trafficking cases.

There was a slight rise in drug offences, which included an 8% increase in importation.

The fall in reported sexual offences included a sharp reduction (-20%) in rapes, but a rise (+70%) in aggravated sexual assaults.

The reduction in dangerous or negligent acts, includes a 25% fall in dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm, and an 11% fall in drink-driving.

The fall in detected public order offences was mainly due to a 15.5% reduction in disorderly conduct.

Experts have often pointed out that statistics for offences such as drink-driving and disorderly conduct reflect the level of enforcement by gardaí, which is partly driven by resources.

Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan is concerned by the rise in homicides but noted it was not driven by organised crime. She said a large number of arrests have already been made for homicides this year. She said gardaí are monitoring emerging crimes, including thefts.


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