Crime Stats: Increase in sexual offences as murders drop to lowest level in over 20 years
There was a big increase in sexual offences last year but a record drop in murders, official figures have revealed.
Reported rape of a male or a female increased by 12.6% to 536 in 2015 while overall offences in this category jumped by 15%.
The figures, released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), showed that there were 22 fewer murders in Ireland last year compared to 2014.
The number of murders in Ireland fell to 30 last year from 52 in 2014. These figures include the murder of Garda Tony Golden last October and the shooting of Paul Kavanagh by the Kinahan crime gang.
The murder rate is the lowest seen in the state since 1994.
There were two cases of manslaughter and 25 deaths recorded as crimes caused by dangerous driving.
While murders plummeted last year, murder threats increased by 42 per cent, to 593 cases.
The CSO collates data under 14 categories and six of these showed a fall.
There were 26,246 recorded burglary and related offences in 2015, representing a decrease of 1,389 (-5.0%) when compared with 2014.
Aggravated burglary offences fell by 13.7% while recorded burglary (not aggravated) offences decreased from 26,678 to 25,376.
Acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed the dip in burglaries and praised garda progress in tackling the issue.
The Minister said: “The CSO figures validate the early operational feedback which I received from the Garda Commissioner about the very positive impact of the concentrated efforts of An Garda Síochána to tackle burglary and property crime under Operation Thor”.
she continued: “While I welcome the reductions in burglaries and other serious crime categories, the latest crime figures show that we need to maintain investment in Garda resources as well as continuing with the recruitment of new Gardaí.
"With the continuing support of communities throughout the country I am confident that An Garda Síochána will continue to confront criminals and provide protection and reassurance for all law abiding people.”
Security company PhoneWatch has welcomed the figures which suggest a drop in burglaries.
Managing Director Eoin Dunne said: “The fact that homeowners are becoming more aware of household security is indicative of the decrease in burglary levels throughout the country.
“Homeowners are beginning to take control of their home security and through the efforts of An Garda Siochana we are beginning to see the trends reversing. However, now is not the time to become complacent”.
Robbery and hijacking offences fell by more than 2% to 2,584 recorded offences.
However, blackmail or extortion offences rose by nearly 150% to 52.
Last year, there were 15,128 drugs offences, a decrease of almost 5%.
10,979 of these offences were for possession of drugs for personal use, which was down 2.6% on 2014 numbers.