Friday 28 July 2017

Rise in homicide and sexual offences but burglaries drop by almost a third

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Stock photo
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

There was a significant jump in the number of murders and manslaughters last year, crime stats have revealed.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), there were 71 homicide offences in 2016 - an increase of eight on the previous year.

Last year there were seven gun murders linked to the Hutch and Kinahan feud and this may go some way to explaining the increase.

Sexual offences also rose with 2,549 recorded in the same 12-month period. This was a jump of 201 (8.6 per cent) on the previous year.

Dangerous or negligent acts increased by 7.5pc in the same period. According to the CSO this figure was driven mainly by an increase of 7.9pc in the number of Driving/In charge of a vehicle while over the legal limit offences, and an increase of 56.3pc in the number of acts of Abandoning a child, child neglect and cruelty.

The figures also recorded a significant decrease in the number of burglary statistics. The number of recorded burglary and theft offences dropped by 7,823 (-29.8pc) on the previous year.

Reacting to the burglary figures PhoneWatch Managing Director Eoin Dunne said it was positive to see a drop but "burglary remains all too common".

He claimed one in twelve households across the country becoming the victim of a crime each year.

"For those who live in an urban area the risks are two and half times higher."

He added: “Being the victim of a burglary can be very upsetting, and deprive you of your right to feel safe and secure in your own home. Latest research shows that half of all victims are at home while a burglary occurs."

The CSO also recorded considerable drops in kidnapping and related offences and Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences . These groups recorded drops of 21.7pc and 18.7pc respectively in the period.

According to the release there were also notable decreases in the number of crimes recorded in other high-volume crime groups: Theft and related offences, down 14.3pc; Fraud, deception and related offences, down 12.1pc; Damage to property and to the environment, down 14.5pc; and Public order and other social code offences, down 12.4pc.

Although there is a drop of 10.7pc in the number of Weapons and Explosives Offences recorded nationally in 2016, there was an increase of 8.7pc in the number of these incidents recorded in the Northern region.

Attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences are down 3.6% nationally but the decrease in the figures for the Western region is almost four times greater at 14.9pc.

The CSO has also issued a note on the ongoing scandal within An Garda Síochana regarding the breath tests.

Last Thursday at a garda press conference it was announced that 14,700 people were wrongly convicted of motoring offences after they weren't given the opportunity to pay a Fixed Charge Notice.

Gardaí also confirmed that almost one million phantom breath tests were recorded on the Garda Pulse system. Official figures claimed that 1,995,369 tests were carried out but only 1,061,381 took place.

The CSO said that following the announcement they requested data on the 148,000 offences "to establish whether any of these offences had been incorrectly included in the quarterly recorded crime data as additional incidents."

"An Garda Siochana provided the details of the 148,000 offences and the CSO have determined that these offences do not appear to have affected the quarterly Recorded Crime series."

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