Crime rates are falling in most categories, figures show

CSO data shows gardaí are failing to build strong enough cases to bring proceedings

Crime rates are continuing to fall in most areas, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Crime rates are continuing to fall in most areas, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

Crime rates are continuing to fall in most categories, but so is the rate at which gardaí are building strong enough cases to initiate criminal proceedings, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The latest Garda Recorded Crime Statistics reveal the figures between 2010-2014, based on data recorded on the Garda’s Pulse and fixed-charge penalty systems.

In 2014, homicide offences were down 4 per cent compared with 2013 and 10 per cent compared with 2010.

However, the “detection rate” for homicides, which refers to cases where criminal proceedings have commenced, was 79 per cent in 2014, which represents a decrease of 6 per cent on 2013 and 4 per cent on 2010.

In 2014, reported sexual offences were down 18 per cent on 2010, but up 3 per cent on 2013.

Less than half of reported sexual offences (47 per cent) in 2014 resulted in criminal proceedings, which was the lowest rate since 2010 and represented the continuation of a downward trend.

In 2010, there were 2,324 reported rapes, with 1,524 leading to criminal proceedings.

However, in 2014, there were 1,894 reported rapes, of which 878 led to criminal proceedings.

Burglaries

On burglaries, there was an increase of 6 per cent between 2010 and 2014, while theft and related offences rose 1 per cent over the same period.

Less than one in five burglaries in 2014 have led to criminal proceedings, which is down from one-quarter in 2010.

Just in excess of one-third of fraud, deception and related offences (38 per cent) in 2014 have led to criminal proceedings, compared with 54 per cent in 2010 and 42 per cent in 2013.

Kidnappings and related offences in 2014 were up 2 per cent on 2013, but down 5 per cent on 2010.

There was a sharp drop in the commencement of criminal proceedings for kidnapping, down from 67 per cent in 2013 to 47 per cent in 2014.

Criminal proceedings for robbery, extortion and hijacking offences were also down from 53 per cent in 2010 to 40 per cent in 2014.

Dangerous or negligent acts offences, comprising mostly speeding and dangerous driving offences, were up by one-third, which was the highest increase of any category between 2010 and 2014.

However, several groups, including controlled drug offences (down 20 per cent), weapons and explosives offences (down 40 per cent), damage to property and the environment (down 30 per cent), and public order and other social code offences (down 41 per cent) saw sharp drops over the same period.