Number of robberies, thefts and kidnappings rise in Cork

There was a sharp increase in the number of robberies across Cork’s three Garda divisions in 2013 at a time when the incidence of such crime was falling nationally.

Reported thefts across the county also rose at twice the national rate while there was also a notable increase in the number of kidnappings.

Official Garda figures on recorded crime show the number of robbery, extortion, and hijacking offences in Cork City and county jumped from 110 in 2012 to 149 in 2013 — an increase of 35%.

The vast majority of such crimes occurred in Cork City where the number of robberies totalled 135 last year — 33 more than in the previous year.

The rise in robberies in Cork bucked the national trend where the overall number of such crimes fell slightly by 0.2%.

Meanwhile, 10 kidnappings were recorded across the county last year compared to one in 2012.

There were also above-average increases in the number of sexual offences and thefts rep-orted in Cork in 2013.

There was a notable rise in the number of rapes and other sexual assaults in Cork City — 120 cases were reported last year compared to 99 in 2012.

However, the number of sexual offences in the Cork West region, which covers areas including Bandon, Kanturk, Kinsale, and Macroom, dropped by 34%, down from 44 in 2012 to 29 last year.

There was no change in the number of sexual offences in the Cork North division which covers Fermoy, Mallow, Midleton, Cobh, and Youghal at 69 cases.

Gardaí reported a 6% rise in thefts across the three Cork divisions with more than 5,900 offences recorded in 2013. The national rate of increase in thefts was 3%.

Seven violent deaths were recorded in Cork last year, one fewer that in 2012.

Overall crime levels fell by 6% in Cork last year compared to the national average of a 7% reduction.

Figures compiled by the CSO based on offences logged in the Garda Pulse system show that almost one tenth of all crimes reported in Ireland in 2013 took place in Cork.

Crime rates fell by 7% in Cork City and by 6% in Cork West and 4% in Cork North with the decrease largely due to a dramatic decline in the number of public order offences which were down 20% across the county.

Nevertheless, Cork accounts for more than 13% of all public order offences committed in Ireland compared to 9% of all crime.

It also has relatively high rates of crime for offences relating to illegal drugs, drink-driving and violent assaults but comparatively low rates for burglaries and robberies.

Offences relating to damage to property also dropped by 7% across Cork last year.

There was also a substantial reduction in drug offences in rural areas of Cork in line with most Garda divisions across the country, although the level of drug offences in Cork City remained static.

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