CSO crime figures show 25 per cent fall in burglaries


THE INCREASE in burglaries since the beginning of the recession appears to have been arrested, according to the latest figures. Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he believed an increased Garda focus on combating this kind of crime was working.

New Central Statistics Office (CSO) crime trends published yesterday reveal that, while burglaries increased by 10 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June, they fell – by 25 per cent – in the last three months of that period.

Minister for Justice and Defence Alan Shatter said he believed the reduction had been brought about by the successful Garda Operation Fiacla, established in the spring to target the increased rate of burglaries.

“With more than 1,700 persons arrested and nearly 1,000 charged in the first six months of the operation, the Garda are tackling the prolific offenders behind the growth in burglaries and I want to commend them for that,” he said.

The full set of figures released yesterday for headline or serious crime revealed that, of the 14 crime groups categorised by the CSO, 11 showed a reduction in the year to the end of June.

Fraud and related offences were up by 8 per cent in the 12-month period, while kidnapping and related offences were up by 8 per cent, albeit from a relatively low base of 103 offences in the previous 12 months.

Of the most serious crimes categorised, homicide offences were down by 24 per cent in the 12 months to June, to 62 cases.

Recorded sexual offences were down by 4 per cent to 1,998 cases. However, those involved in dealing with victims say most sexual offences are never reported to gardaí and so are not recorded in official crime data.

Offences linked to organised crime were down, continuing a trend seen since the recession began and demand for recreational drugs plummeted.

Controlled drugs offences fell by 5 per cent in the year to the end of June and weapons offences, including gun crime, showed a 15 per cent fall.

Because the data covers the 12 months to the end of June, it does not capture recent high profile crimes, including three gun murders this week.

Mr Shatter said despite the long-term trends indicating falling crime, the events of recent days would be tackled head-on.

“Like An Garda Síochána, I am determined that those responsible be brought to justice . . . it remains imperative that we confront and disrupt violent and gang crime in all its forms and the Gardaí have the full support of the Government in this,” he said.

There was a 13 per cent decrease in public order and social code offences in the year to the end of June. This category includes disorderly conduct, trespassing, liquor licensing, prostitution and trading offences.