Crime soared alongside economy in boom years
THE crime rate increased in two-thirds of the major categories during five years at the height of the economic boom.
A newly published analysis of trends from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows how crime rates soared in 12 out of 16 categories between 2004 and 2008.
The report shows that homicide was down by 9pc, sexual offences were down by 20pc, robbery, extortion and hijacking dropped by 15pc, while burglary was down 1pc.
But in 12 categories there was an upward curve. These included murder attempts and assaults, kidnapping, drugs, weapons and explosives offences, damage to property and public order crimes.
Several hotspots for different types of crime were also revealed.
A divisional breakdown indicated that the Limerick garda division had the highest per capita homicide rate of 3.5 per 100,000 people in 2008, followed by Dublin south central with a rate of 3.4.
These compared with a nationwide average of 1.2 per 100,000 people.
Fine Gael's justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan said the statistics showed that the Government was losing the war on crime.
Mr Flanagan said the report made for depressing reading, with gun and drug crime doubling in five years, while conviction rates remained "intolerably low".
Labour's justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte said Fianna Fail, which had promised zero tolerance on crime, had made zero progress in most areas.
Detection rates varied from 99pc for drugs and road traffic offences in 2008, to 22pc for damage to property and the environment.
Only one out of every four burglaries was solved in 2008, but this was an improvement on the previous year's result of 17pc.