CRIME rates across Fingal have soared over the past decade with theft, robbery and public order causing the biggest headache for the region's over-stretched Gardaí, according to new figures.
Data compiled by All-Ireland, Research Observatory (AIRO) reveals dramatic increases in crime at seven stations across Fingal between 2003 and 2011, although there has been something of a drop between 2010 and last year.
By far the busiest station in Fingal was Swords which recorded a total of 2,543 in 2011, which recorded a jump of 18.5 per cent in crime between 2003 and 2011 when some 2,072 crimes were recorded. However, the rates has been dropping since 2007 when 2,824 offences were recorded and which dropped again in 2010 to 2,783. Balbriggan was the second busiest station last year with a total of 1,486 offences recorded during the 12-month period. The figure represents a substantial jump from 2003 when just 532 offences were recorded, which no doubt reflects the massive jump in population in the North Fingal town in the intervening decade.
Crime rates increased steadily since 2003, rising to 1,139 in 2007 and jumping again to 1,485 in 2010 and maintained steady in the following twelve months. Malahide Garda Station, which had seen reduced opening hours as part of Government cutbacks this year, has seen its crime rate remain steady between 2003 and 2011, when 1,120 and 1,289 offences were recorded respectively. However, there was a significant jump in 2007 when a massive 1,445 offences were recorded at the station but that has dropped steadily since then. In the northern end of the county, Skerries, Rush and Lusk stations all recorded substantial increases between 2003 and 2011. The figures for Skerries show a jump from 283 crimes nine years ago to 407 last year, while Lusk has seen a massive rise from 144 offences in 2003 to 413 in 2011, again reflecting the huge growth in population in both areas during the boom years. And Rush, which was controversially closed earlier this year as part of Government cutbacks, recorded 320 offences in 2011, up from 186 in 2003. Rates of crime in the once rural town have steadily risen over the past decade, rising to 303 in 2007 before jumping again over the past four years.
In Garristown, some 104 crimes were recorded last year, up from 46 in 2003. Bucking the trend is Dublin Airport Garda Station has seen its crime rates drop from 829 in 2003 to 332 in 2011. The All Island Research Observatory is a research unit and interactive spatial data portal based in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Under the guidance of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) and the National Centre for Geo-computation (NCG), AIRO has been funded by the Higher Education Authority under Cycle Four of the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4). AIRO also acts as an integral resource for the Irish Social Science Platform (ISSP).