Dangerous driving offences rose by more than 100,000 between 2010 and 2011

Recorded crime down in most categories with the exception of burglaries, theft and fraud and deception offences

Graphic: Irish Times Studio

PAMELA DUNCAN

The number of dangerous or negligent driving offences recorded grew by more than 100,000 between 2010 and 2011 according to statistics released by the CSO.

The sharp increase in the number of offences recorded in this category was due to a large increase in the number of speeding offences in 2011, with 104,610 extra offences recorded as compared to 2010. The increase coincided with the roll-out of speed-detection vans across the country which began in late 2010.

The number of recorded drink driving offences fell in the same period with 15 per cent fewer people over the legal alcohol limit between 2010 and 2011.

READ MORE

The overall number of recorded crimes fell between 2010 and 2011 across most of the 16 main crime categories. The exceptions were burglaries which were up by 8 per cent and fraud and deception offences, up by 7 per cent. There was no percentage change in the number of thefts recorded.

The number of homicide offences continued to fall, having decreased every year since 2007 with 66 homicides recorded in 2011 compared to 90 in 2010.

Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences also fell by 9 per cent as did drug offences, weapons and explosions defences and damage to property, which fell by 11, 15 and 9 per cent respectively.

The CSO release also contained information on the level of crime per 100,000 population in each garda division.

The highest number of murder, manslaughter and infanticide offences was in the Dublin South Central metropolitan division, which takes in Kevin Street, Pearse Street, Donnybrook and Irishtown garda stations, which recorded four offences per 100,000 population compared to a national average of one offence per 100,000 population.

The second highest level was recorded in the Limerick division at two offences per 100,000 population in 2011.

Assaults were highest in the Dublin North Central metropolitan division, which takes in north inner city garda stations including Mountjoy, Store Street and the Bridwell, with 853.9 recorded offences per 100,000 people. This compared to a national average of 316.1 assaults per 100,000 residents.

Burglaries, defined as thefts involving trespass onto residences, were highest in the the Dublin South Central and North Central Dublin metropolitan divisions where burglaries are twice as likely as the national average.

Thefts on the person where there was no element of violence were highest in the Dublin North Central division where the average of 7,421.8 recorded thefts per 100,000 population was more than five times the national average.

Robberies, which are theft on the person involving violence or a threat thereof, were also highest in Dublin’s north inner city with just over 500 robberies per 100,000 people, over eight times as many as the national average.

Firearms offences were highest in the Western Dublin metropolitan division, which takes in Blanchardstown, Cabra and Finglas garda stations, with 24.4 recorded offences per 100,000 people compared with an average of 9.8 per 100,000 residents nationally.

The highest rate of dangerous and negligent driving offences were recorded in Roscommon/Longford with over 12,000 offences per 100,000 population compared to a national average of 6,653 per 100,000 residents.

Clare had the highest percentage of driving licence/insurance offences, with over twice as many offences per head of population than that recorded nationally while the number of recorded motor tax offences was also 2.7 times higher per head than the national average.