| 13.5°C Dublin

Homicide toll down 35pc over five years

The homicide toll over a five-year period fell by more than a third, newly released figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The figures for 2006 to 2010, published yesterday, revealed that while the number of homicides dropped by 35pc from 138 to 90, the garda detection rate was an average of 86pc over the period.

The homicide category includes murder, manslaughter and dangerous driving causing death.

In contrast, burglaries, which account for the bulk of the overall number of crimes in a year, rose by 2pc from 24,794 to 25,377, and the detection rate plummeted to one in four.

That trend continued in 2011 and the early part of this year and has led to the setting up of Operation Fiacla, which the Irish Independent disclosed yesterday was targeting the top 300 burglars in the country.

In Dublin, more than 30 of the top tier of 60 suspects have already been caught, charged and remanded in custody by the courts, awaiting trial.

Sex offences were up by 51pc to 2,339 but the CSO issued a warning that this was partly due to a garda re-examination of historical crimes. The average detection rate in this category was 58pc.

Kidnapping was up by 59pc and weapons and explosives offences by 31pc over the five years, but these are in decline again.

Despite the huge increase in the weapons and explosives category, the average detection rate was 89pc.

Irish Independent