Murders up a third as most crimes decline, CSO figures show
Rape down 19.7%, carjacking down 27.5%, kidnapping up 6.3% and burglaries down 1.4%
Acting Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan welcomed reductions in burglary, damage to property and public order offences recorded. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
There was a drop in most recorded crimes including rape, public order and burglaries but an increase in homicides, kidnapping and theft, figures for the year up to the end of March show.
The figures show an increase in several violent crimes. Homicide offences (the act of killing someone) are up 22.5 per cent (a rise of 16 offences to 87). This is mainly driven by an increase in murders by over a third (up by 16 incidents to 60), the Central Statistic Office (CSO) figures show. Murder atttempts more than doubled while murder threats were up by 29 per cent (an increase of 75 incidents).
The Western Garda region had the largest increase in homicide where incidents almost doubled while in the South East such incidents more than halved.
Acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan said the rise in homicide was “not attributable to organised crime” and a “large number of arrests” had been made in relation to murders committed in the first quarter of the year.
Overall there were falls in two thirds of the categories of recorded crimes published by the CSO today.
Assaults causing harm were down by 6.2 per cent or almost 200 incidents, over the same period. The figures show a sharp drop in sexual offences (down 5.3 per cent), including a fall by almost a fifth in rapes (down by 101 incidents).
CSO crime statistics Q1 2014
Despite a recent spate of high profile incidents, carjacking and hijacking were down 27.5 per cent (25 incidents). The second largest increase in overall categories was for kidnapping offences, up by 6.3 per cent or seven incidents. This increase was driven by a more than doubling of the offence of abduction of persons under 16 (total 33) and a 27 per cent increase in the number human trafficking offences detected (total 19).
Acting Commissioner O’Sullivan said a “key concern for communities and individuals” were crimes that affect their daily lives. Thus she welcomed reductions in burglary, damage to property and public order and said thefts were a “key focus” for the Garda.
Public order and social code offences showed the biggest overcall category drop in percentage and number, down by 14.8 per cent or 6,115 incidents. This was driven by the drop in disorderly conduct by 15.5, but still amounting to some 82 disorderly conduct offences per day.
There was a sharp in thefts of vehicle thefts which were down by almost 1,000, or 12 per cent. However overall there was also a 2.3 per cent rise in thefts, up by 1,723 offences. This was mainly due to an increase by a fifth in thefts from a person (up by 1,115 incidents).
While burglaries fell overall by 1.4 per cent or down 363 incidents , there was a sharp rise in aggravated burglaries which rose by a fifth or up 53 incidents.
Dublin was the only Garda region to show an overall increase in burglaries (up almost 7 per cent), while the Eastern region showed the sharpest decline (down 9.5 per cent)
The 8.7 per cent drop in damage to property and the environment was particularly noted by the CSO, mainly made up by a drop in criminal damage of 2,531.
Acting Commissioner O’Sullivan also welcomed a fall in drink driving offences and appealed to road users to “act responsibly”. There was a sharp fall of people caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit, down more than a tenth by 887.
Reacting to the increase in murders, Acting Commissioner O’Sullivan urged people to “consider the terrible impact” of the crime not only on the person but their family, friends and communities for years to come. She urged people to think about the “potentially devastating consequences” of actions before they act as “lives can be changed in an instant”.