219 sexual offences recorded in Cork City last year

Twice as many rapes and sexual assaults were reported to gardaí in Cork City last year compared to 2016.

219 sexual offences recorded in Cork City last year

Official crime figures released by the CSO show a total of 219 sexual offences were recorded in the city in 2017, up from 110 the previous year.

It is almost six times the national rate of increase in sexual offences last year, which were up 17% with almost 2,950 crimes.

The other two Garda divisions in the county also recorded above-average increases in reported sex crimes in 2017.

In Cork North, which covers towns including Fermoy, Youghal, and Cobh, the number of rapes and sexual assaults reported rose by 51% to 95.

In Cork West, which includes Macroom, Clonakilty, Bantry, and Bandon, they were up 40% to 77.

Cork City also experienced a surge in burglaries last year, with levels up 33% to 621 while reported thefts were up 10% to 3,751.

In contrast, there was a reduction in the number of robberies, drug offences, and damage to property reported in the city.

In Cork North, there was a sharp rise in drug offences — up 38% — while burglaries were up 18% and assaults up 22%.

In Cork West, burglary rates bucked the national trend by falling by 17.5% but drug offences increased by 29% and public order offences rose 16%.

Overall crime rates nationally, excluding road traffic offences, rose by 7.5% last year, with a total of 214,205 offences recorded — an annual increase of almost 15,000.

The biggest increase was recorded in the Meath division where crime levels increased by 22.5% — three times the national rate — to 5,930 offences, driven by a sharp increase in burglaries and thefts.

The second-largest rise in crime figures was in Kildare where they were up 17.2% to 7,875.

Other divisions where crime rates rose by over 10% during 2017 were Kerry, Cavan/Monaghan, Cork West, Laois/Offaly, Galway, Sligo/Leitrim, and Dublin North and South Central.

Only three Garda divisions experienced a drop in crime rates last year: Mayo, Clare, and Dublin South.

The CSO resumed publication of official crime figures “under reservation” last week for the first time in 12 months.

It suspended the quarterly publication of crime figures in early 2017 amid concern over quality issues in the recording of offences on the Garda Pulse system, first highlighted in a Garda Inspectorate report in 2014.

More recently concern has been voiced about how Garda management has carried out an internal review of 41 homicides.

The CSO said its “under reservation” classification reflected its concerns around the completeness and accuracy of Pulse data.

The CSO has warned that further revisions of the latest official crime figures can be expected as it resolves deficiencies in the Garda recording of offences.

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