Ireland – June 29, 2016 – The latest crime statistics in Ireland reflect mixed trends in crime rates, types of crime and locality variants. The most recent 2015 analysis and reports produced by Irelands’ Central Statistics Office (CSO) and police force, Garda, indicate that 243,968 criminal offences were reported countrywide last year, ignoring road traffic incidents. This equates to approximately 667 crimes committed daily, directly affecting roughly 5.3% of the population.
The most common offences are theft, public order offences, criminal damage, and drug related crimes. Through September 2015 almost 30,000 burglaries were committed, a 6% increase from 2014. In comparison with less prosperous areas, affluent neighborhoods such as Donnybrook in Dublin are experiencing a significant increase in the number of crimes reported. For example, there is more public order offences in areas such as Donnybrook than in Finglas or Ballyfermot, with Donnybrook’s crime rates being notable based on their proportion to the population. The nature of the offences in affluent areas is broad and includes drunkenness, violent disorder, street-begging, brothel-keeping, and soliciting.
Recently law enforcement’s attention has focused on the increase of reported crime in rural communities, with more isolated locations becoming targets for urban based organised gangs. Other crimes follow a similar pattern with reported rape offences rising by 14.1% from 2014, while 5,490 fraud offences were recorded. CSO figures reveal spikes of criminal occurrences across rural Ireland with rape and sexual assault being the most common offences.
Various rural locations are experiencing an outbreak of different offences. For example County Kerry has issues with drunkenness and disorder while County Waterford has the highest rate of recorded rapes compared to other rural areas. Crime types are disparate, with burglaries prevalent in County Louth and violent assault more likely in County Donegal. County Monaghan has the dubious honour of being at the top of the list for drink driving offences, as well as having the highest number of defendants accused of rape than anywhere else in Ireland since 2012.
Examining the CSO data in more detail highlights geographical crime hotspots. Limerick has the highest percentage of reported homicides per person compared to the rest of Ireland, with Monaghan equaling that with respect to rape and sexual assaults. The Monaghan trend is reflected in other counties such as Galway, where there have been 22 rape cases recorded since 2012 and two homicides, and Cork with 27 rape cases and ten homicides.
Dublin, with its high population density, has seen a steady increase in crime rates, and now ranks among the top five European cities for homicide. In 2015 there was a 30% rise in burglaries in the capital and increasing rates of offences linked to bicycle thefts and public order offending. Although bicycle crime has seen a 47% rise, the largest increase is linked to public order, seeing a 23% increase in reported serious assaults. Dublin’s comparable crime rate is 789 offences per ten thousand people as compared with 532 for the rest of Ireland.
Despite this overall bleak picture, homicide cases actually decreased by nearly half from 2014 with 54 cases in 2015, down from 84. Offences linked to extortion and robberies declined by 9.1%, with drug related offences decreasing from 15,766 in 2014 to 15,116 in 2015.
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