Drug crime, sexual offences, fraud all significantly increasing in Republic

Increase in most crimes apart from homicides, robbery-extortion, burglaries – CSO

Drug crime and frauds are both increasing significantly in the Republic while the number of sexual crimes being reported has reached another new record high. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Drug crime and frauds are both increasing significantly in the Republic while the number of sexual crimes being reported has reached another new record high. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

 

Drug crime and frauds are both increasing significantly in the Republic while the number of sexual crimes being reported has reached a new record high.

New data released by the Central Statistics Office shows crime increased in every category over the past 12 months apart from homicides, robbery-extortion and burglaries.

Indeed, despite a widely held perception that the Republic is in the grips of a burglary epidemic, the number of burglaries being reported to the Garda is at a record low for the modern era.

Burglaries were down six per cent to 16,580 crimes in the 12 months to the end of September.

The homicide rate has fallen by one third, to 54 cases. Homicides include all unlawful killings such as murders and manslaughters.

In the year to the end of September some 3,332 sexual crimes were reported to the Garda; a record high and seven per cent higher than the previous year.

Reporting

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan suggested the sex crime rates were up because more victims were coming forward, which he welcomed.

“I strongly encourage anyone who has been the victim of such attacks to please contact An Garda Síochána and report the incident,” he said. “An Garda Síochána continues the roll out of specialist services to respond to the needs of victims.”

Gardaí believe victims of sexual offending are now more willing than ever to report the crimes to the Garda. However, they also believe the number of sex crimes being committed in the Republic was increasing, as was the case with other crimes against the person.

Because of that they suspect increased reporting of sex crimes and increased sexual offending were both influencing the rise in recorded sex crimes, which has been pronounced for more than two years.

Assaults

Murder threats increased by 25 per cent to 1,209 cases in the year to the end of September. Assaults were up nine per cent to 13,777 while the more serious ‘assaults causing harm’ were up six per cent to 4,759.

Kidnappings and related offences were up 16 per cent while thefts rose by almost four per cent. Frauds recorded by far the biggest increase of any crime time; up by 35 per cent to 7,805 crimes in the twelve months to the end of September.

The number of drug crimes recorded by the Garda increased by 17 per cent. This continues the trend of recent years when demand for drugs has rebound as disposable incomes have recovered from the recession years.

Weapons and explosive offences increased by 13 per cent. However, while this includes possession or discharge of firearms, those gun-related crimes account for only a small fraction of the category.

Gun crimes number about 300 offences per year and have been static over the last twelve months. However, there are far more ‘other offensive weapons’ crimes recorded; which include possession of knives.

Some 2,116 “other offensive weapons” crimes were recorded; up 12 per cent in the year to the end of September.

Public order offences increased by four per cent to 32,915 crimes. Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said recently public order offending was rising because the night time economy was recovering and more alcohol was being consumed.

The new data released by the Central Statistics Office on Wednesday compares the 12-month period to the end of September with the previous 12 months.

All crime data published by the CSO is “under reservation” which means the office is working with the Garda to improve the accuracy of the data.